The Palazzo del Popolo (or Nuovo Podesta) is on the south side of the Piazza Duomo almost touching the church. Its right edge is almost touching the Torre Grossa. The left edge leads to a double arched loggia. The new Podesta is most usually called the Communale and was built in 1288. Beyond the main building is an internal courtyard built in 1323 with a fine set of stairs leading to the main floor Sala del Consiglio. In the courtyard is an old well from 1361.Covering the walls along the stairs are numerous painted emblems and small frescos.
On the right hand side of Piazza del Duomo stands the Town Hall, which was built in the 13th century. The tower next to the town hall is the Torre Grossa, and measures 54 m. This is the highest and only tower in San Gimignano that you can climb.
The Palazzo del Popolo (people‘s palace) was built between1288 and 1323. Attached to it the 54 metres high Torre Grossa (large tower) was added. The palace and tower played a very important and strategic role for the town: it was a defense building as well as the place where the authorities summoned the citizen in order to give them information or warn them about fortcoming dangers, invasions or fires. The meeting signal was the toll of one of the bells.
Today the palace has become the Town Hall and it also hosts the Museo Civico (civic museum) and the Pinacoteca Civica (civic art gallery).
The inner courtyard of the Podesta was added to the building in 1323 with a picturesque stairway and was covered with small frescos and decorations.
Palazzo del Popolo is today the city hall of the town. It was built in 1288 and on its facade you can see windows and arches typical of the 13th century architecture.
The town hall features a courtyard with coats of arms and frescoes by Sodoma. The Palace is home to the Civic Museum and a picture gallery.