This site was renovated in the 16th Century, after having suffered a period of abandonment and unauthorized building; its later restoration followed the principles of elegance, harmony and proportion. When tourists see Piazza del Popolo for the first time, they are struck by its elegance, harmony and proportion.
The impressive architecture, the portico design, the beautiful paving and the well-though-out perspective are the pirncipal endowments of this piazza, certainly one of the most impressive sites in Ascoli Piceno.
The piazza is done in travertine and is surrounded by elegant Renaissance-style buildings bearing lively colonnades and decorations.Palazzo dei Capitani fronts Piazza del Popolo in a majestic way, and this magnificent building's name derives from the fact that it was once the headquarters of a powerful Medieval order, the so-called Captains (Capitani in Italian). A series of unfortunate events compromised and changed the Palazzo's original design: a 15th-Century fire caused the destruction of the city archives and the building's facade. Both were subsequently rebuilt and, later, Pope Paul III' s statue and its fantastic portico were added.
The construction of Saint Francis's Church took almost 200 years; it was built to commemorate the figure of Saint Francis, who spent several years in Ascoli Piceno.
The Romanesque, travertine facade features three finely-decorated portals, s well as the statue of Pope Julius II, positioned on atop the largest.
The Church's three aisles boast octagonal pillars, while the majestic presbytery's interior is rich in precious artworks and paintings.
The wooden Crucified Christ is among the most famous works of art in this Church; it is located on the left aisle and, according to belief, it once bled, thus attracting hundreds of worshippers and pilgrims every year. Piazza del Popolo is the vibrant heart of Ascoli, the people's meeting point and the venue for cultural events and activities. For instance, the Quintana is an important historical re-enactment with a joust, parade and flag throwing, ladies in costume, archers and musicians that decorate this charming spot every year.