The Piazza del Popolo is a renaissance-style square in the city of Ascoli Piceno, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful of this architectural style in Italy. It has often featured in commercials such as that of the Fiat 500 (1998).
Govenor Raniero de Ranieri first started the building in 1507, using public monies. He ordered the construction of arches and columns to redress the plight of the many dilapidated urban shops, warehouses and houses of that time, which surrounded the square. The completion of the columns in 1509 gave people the opportunity to construct buildings within the spaces. Each of the buildings had to comply with the rules to build the same windows, called ’square with round ears and palmettes’. Surrounding the square is the majestic facade of the Palace of the Captains of th People, the famous Cafe Meletti, the Gothic church of San Francesco which is set against the kiosk Lazzaro Morelli. The Sqaure is completely paved with slabs of polished travertine, which appear clear, bright and welcoming, and in the rain give a striking mirror effect.
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