Palazzo dei Banchi was the last palace built in the Piazza Maggiore. It was built with the intention to hide the narrow streets of the market behind it, known today as Mercato di Mezzo. The name Banchi derives from the desks of the money-changers that once used to work there.
The construction of the building first started in 1412, but completed by facade and elegant porticoe only in 1568 by famous Bolognese architect Jacopo Barozzi. Barozzi, called Il Vignola, built the facade of the palace composed by 15 arcs and the portico which is part of so-called "Portico del Pavaglione".
Along the eastern side of the Piazza Maggiore lies the Palace of the Banks. Construction started in 1412 and was finished in 1565. Its main purpose being the centre of banking for the city.
From here, the most famous portico, the Pavaglione, links the Piazza Maggiore to the dell'Archiginnasio Palace, seat of the first 'University of Bologna.
The term Pavaglione is linked to the silkworms fair which was held from 1449 in space occupied by Piazza Galvani, in front of 'Archiginnasio: that market was placed under a tent, so the name Bolognese some might be in relationship with the French pavilion, namely pavilion tent.
Beside Palazzo dei Banchi lies the tangled street network of the mercato di mezzo, where the streets have all retained the names of the ancient Corporations of the Arts
There are a couple or archways along here through which can be found a multitude of small shops selling snacks and fresh food, pasta and meats. We bought something there some days and avoided the high costs of the Piazza Maggiore cafes.
The palace of the banks is one of many "palaces" at the Piazza Maggiore. Building began in 1412 and it was finished in 1565 by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. Beside its main purpose, as a center of banking in the renaissance, it was built to separate the small, "shabby" streets and the representative Piazza Maggiore. Two archways are used to link these different areas of Bologna.
The University of Bologna, Europe's oldest university, had its main office for a short time in this building.
Erected between 1565 and 1568 by architect Giacomo Barozzi, known as ”Vignola“, the building, on the eastern side of Piazza Maggiore, has a magnificent façade, made by mixing façades of pre-existing constructions, without invading the entrance of the roads converging into Piazza Maggiore. It owes its name to the exchange stores under the porches, which were always full in the Middle Ages.
Situated in the eastern part of Piazza Maggiore, the palace of the Benches derives the name from the botteghe of money changers who in medieval age crowded its arcades. It was conceived in the second half of the sixteenth century on design of architect Giacomo Barozzi said Il Vignola, that succeeded to conform the styles of the facades of the preesistenti buildings respecting the outlets of the old roads meeting in Piazza Maggiore.