A public assembly in Piazza del Popolo, Todi
Let’s try and imagine the magnificent Piazza del Popolo in Todi during a spring afternoon of the early 1300s.
Just like today, the large quadrangular space was dominated by the civic buildings seat of the town’s powers, and by the Duomo of the Annunziata, symbol of ecclesiastic power.
The square was crowded, and the notary – sitting at the top of the staircase joining Palazzo del Capitano and Palazzo del Popolo – red out loud, for everyone to hear, statutes of general interest.
A few minutes later, two men came out as delegates of the crowd, and slowly climbed up the steep stairs to join the notary and express their public approval.
The crowd cheered.
This was a very common scene in many ‘comuni’ in 14th-century Italy, when people’s civic delegations had a huge number of members (often more than one thousand). Although times have radically changed in Italy today, it’s not hard to imagine how things used to be in this extraordinary medieval setting, with Gothic-Romanesque architectures that have only slightly changed over the centuries.
Enjoy a moment in Medieval history in Todi.