Fermo, a prestigious historic city that rises a stone’s throw from the sea, with a classic taste where everyone is the protagonist.

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Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo is the heart of the town of Fermo. Bordered by 16th century porticoes in bricks, it houses the oldest public buildings of the town.

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The current appearance of the square is due to an extensive restructuring phase that began in 1569 with the construction, on several occasions, of the two large loggias that today distinguish the space, opening towards the two main buildings: Palazzo degli Studi and Palazzo dei Priori. In ancient times the square was dedicated to San Martino and took its name from the small church of the same name, later incorporated into the construction of Palazzo dei Priori.

The history of Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo is the heart of the town of Fermo. Accurate and linear in its forms, it is bordered upstream and downstream by two impressive 16th-century porticoes in bricks. This square houses the oldest public buildings, each with its own architectural features that, however, respect the rigour and uniformity of the square.

The square was initially redefined during Alessandro Sforza’s dukedom, due to the arrival in Fermo of Bianca Maria Visconti, his brother Francesco’s wife. From this marriage will born in 1444 Galeazzo Maria Sforza, future duke of Milan.

Before taking its current name, Piazza del Popolo was also known as piazza Vittorio Emanuele, and, before that, as piazza San Martino. It was resized on 8 November 1463 and finally, during 1659, thanks to a restoration, it took the form that still today characterises it. Piazza del Popolo is now 135 metres long and 34 large.

Fermo, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, today Piazza del Popolo, view from above – market (1904)

The buildings of Piazza del Popolo

The history of piazza del Popolo is inseparably connected to the one of the buildings surrounding it. Piazza del Popolo shows a clear Renaissance style (15th century), with its harmonious and linear buildings in every detail. Walking along its pavement or under its beautiful arcades, the visitor is able to breath a little of the air that blew when its yard was still under construction.

It shows up to visitors bounded by two long rows of loggias, with terracotta porticoes, and closed on the shorter sides by very important historic buildings Palazzo dei Priori, built in 1296 from the union of a noble palace dating back to 13th century and an ancient church, houses, today, the Civic Art Gallery of Fermo; the Apostolic Palace, a building dating back to the early decades of the 16th century, was built on orders from Oliverotto Euffreducci and was finished on orders from Pope Clement VII. The San Rocco loggia, was built in 1528 and was the location of the church of San Martino, which was built in 1505 as a religious response to the terrible pestilence that decimated the population of Europe for two centuries from 1400 to 1600.

The loggia of Piazza del Popolo

The pensile loggia that connects Palazzo dei Priori to Palazzo degli studi was built in 1581 and it shows amazing frescoed ceilings. It is one of the most interesting glimpses of the historic centre: you can admire on one side Piazza del Popolo, and on the other side Corso Cefalonia. The Loggia can be reached from the Civic Library.

A visit to the pensile loggia is particularly suggestive during the Market Exhibition of Handicraft and Antiques nights, every Thursday in July and August: a special view, also at night, on the crowded square.



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