Ascoli’s Piazza del Popolo: music and great imagination
Here is the beautiful Piazza del Popolo, the Renaissance heart of Ascoli Piceno.
The imposing Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo, the elegant Caffè Meletti (home to Anisetta, a local anise-flavored distillate) and the slender Gothic church of Saint Francis all face this harmonious rectangular space, built in the early 1500s.
Art critic Cesare Brandi was charmed by the square, and could “hear” “in its porticoes a basso continuo, with the houses behind providing the melody; a range of colors – from dark red bricks to silver apses, to the deep brown of Palazzo del Popolo – are a masterly orchestration that produces every vibration without homophony. It is open and closed at the same time, it is an interior and an exterior, a square and a beautiful living room.”
Brandi thus captured the essential requisite in the shape of Piazza del Popolo: imagination, that is “being regular albeit not symmetrical. Symmetry is a source of beauty as well as of inert correspondences. In Ascoli’s square nothing is inert, in fact order seems like it was instated after everything was done – it regulates without dominating” (translated from C. Brandi, “Terre d’Italia”, Bompiani, Milan 2006).