It is an imposing complex, with an almost square plan and a central court.
The complex is located between Piazza Erbe, Piazza dei Signori, Via Dante and Via Cairoli, thus occupying the southeast corner of what must have been the ancient Roman Court – namely Piazza Erbe. Two recent plaques are walled to the outside of the palace, indicating two discordant dates for construction of the palace (1138 and 1193).
In 1218 a terrible fire involved much of the Palace, but it was rebuilt the following year. During Venetian domination, the Palace became the seat – in addition to the City Administration, of the civil and penal courts, the prison, the College of Notary Publics – with its own Chapel, which still exists in the northeaster corner of the Palace – of the silk customs offices, the Fiscal Chamber, the public granaries, the salt deposits, the Office of Health and others. In 1447 the so-called “Stairway of the Accounting Building” was built inside the courtyard, under Lamberti Tower.
The stairway is one of the first structures added to the architecture of the palace courtyard.
Architecture and Art. It is difficult today to say how the complex, which is developed on three storeys, originally looked.
To understand that above the portico and lower premises, perhaps on all four sides of the building, great halls had been created for public meetings. A partition of columns still supports the arches along the entire curve, with a sculpted keystone. An analogous partition can be seen on this floor in the vicinity of the angular tower as well. This is one of the few precious pieces of architecture conserved inside the palace, just as was the Chapel of Notary Publics. The numerous 19th century restorations had the pretext of restoring the building to its original splendour. In particular, it was desired to make the wall covering uniform, utilising rows of tuff and brick.