The picturesque Palazzo Comunale sharply stands out amidst the hustle and bustle of Piazza Maggiore.
Also known as Palazzo d’Accursio, it once was the private palace of Accursius, the jurist who is famous for his organization of the glosses, the medieval comments on Justinian's codification of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis. After his death, the palace was turned into the seat of the Elders, the highest magistrates of the commune. Palazzo d’Accursio functioned as the Town Hall until 2008 when it became home to the Civic Art Collection. It seems incredible that such an ancient building has been perfectly preserved and even more surprising that it is still in use everyday.
It is impossible to decide whether the charm of Palazzo Comunale lies in the building itself, the art collection it houses or the unique sense of history and space it creates in the heart of downtown Bologna. Its facade features an original medieval sliding gate portcullis, above which floats a terracotta Madonna with Child by Niccolò dell'Arca (1478). The interior, too, provides plenty to feed an aesthetic eye and a curious mind. Unsurprisingly, the council room is simply stunning, displaying gorgeous ceiling artwork. Still, the hidden gem of Palazzo Comunale is its huge art collection that includes paintings, sculptures and assorted decorative art objects from the Middle Age to the 19th century. The collection of heraldic shields is especially valuable and definitely worth a look.
Besides historical treasures, Palazzo d’Accursio offers unrivalled views on Piazza Maggiore, rendering the visit to the museum a real treat.
Palazzo Comunale (Palazzo d’Accursio)
Piazza Maggiore 6, 40124 Bologna, Italia