Palazzo della Mercanzia In Bologna

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palazzo mercanzia bologna
Palazzo della Mercanzia ©
palazzo mercanzia bologna
Palazzo della Mercanzia ©

The Palazzo della Mercanzia in Bologna, located on the square of the same name, is an authentic historical and cultural jewel. This palace is also the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Crafts of Bologna, an institution that regulates the commercial and mercantile activities of the city.

Also known as Loggia dei Mercanti or Palazzo del Carrobbio, it was the seat of the Universitas mercatorum and the Corporations from the end of the 14th century to the end of the 18th.

Table of Contens

Palazzo delle Mercanzie in a Nutshell

The building, symbol of the commercial and social soul of the city, contains centuries of history. Its main facade features a loggia supported by pillars and three niches, while two majestic Gothic arches adorn the entrance portico giving impetus to the building.

One of the most fascinating features of the Palazzo della Mercanzia is its interior. The first floor offers a corridor frescoed in Renaissance style, the Green Room, a Council Room with luxurious decorations, and a meeting room adorned with depictions of episodes from Roman history.

The chamber library houses a wealth of newspapers, periodicals and historical documents, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the history of Bologna’s commercial activities.

Going up to the second floor, you reach the Council Hall, a magnificent space decorated with coats of arms and images of Justice and Equity, and a balcony overlooking Piazza della Mercanzia. This palace has undergone numerous restorations over the centuries, preserving its historical splendor.

Unfortunately, the building is not accessible to the public and access is reserved for specific purposes or events.

The history

Mercanzia square
Mercanzia Square ©

The palace was built in the 14th century to house the Merchants’ Forum. Its position in a square, originally formed spontaneously in Roman times at the crossroads between the ancient Via Emilia to Rimini (Strada Maggiore) and the ancient Via Salaria to Ravenna (Via San Vitale), has made it a strategic place for business and trade.

In the Lombard era, the area where the palace stands today was inhabited by a small community of Lombards, whose radially oriented streets converged in the current square of Porta Ravegnana, creating a “carrobbio”, a crossroads, hence the term which is sometimes referred to as the palace.

In 1382, the municipality of Bologna decided to create a site for the Forum of the Merchants and, after having identified the site in the area where the Gabella stood, entrusted the design of the palace to the architects Lorenzo da Bagnomarino and Antonio di Vincenzo, known for having designed the Basilica of San Petronio. The works were completed in 1391, the year in which the Mercantile Court settled in the building.

Today the Gothic style architecture has made it an icon of the Bolognese urban landscape and its facade is often found on paintings and postcards.

The recipes deposited and kept in Palazzo delle Mercanzie

In addition to housing historical information on trade, the palace hides a culinary curiosity that will make lovers of Bolognese cuisine happy. This prestigious building is not only a symbol of commerce, but is also a gastronomic treasure. Inside, the real recipes of some typical products of Bolognese cuisine are preserved, authenticity guaranteed by official deposits. This makes it not only a historical place, but also an institution of the Italian culinary tradition.

Among the precious recipes preserved there is that of the real tagliatella of Bologna, registered way back on 16 April 1972, which reveals the secret to preparing this iconic dish with the perfect measure. Furthermore, you will be able to discover the authentic recipe for the filling of tortellini from Bologna, registered on 7 December 1974, which immortalizes one of the most loved dishes of the region.

But they don’t end there, among the documents we also find the recipe for the famous Bolognese ragù, filed on 17 October 1982, containing all the secrets of the condiment that has conquered the world. Furthermore, the delicious Bolognese Green Lasagne and the traditional Certosino also have a special place among the preserved recipes.

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This article was written by:
Ivan Agolino
I am a curious traveler and I passionately dedicate myself to the search for new tastes and emotions. I have made Bologna my home and every day I venture into its alleys to discover some new secret that I transcribe in these articles. I hope I can convey all the love I feel for this splendid city!
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