Palazzo del Podestà was built around 1200 as the seat of the local podestà, the various functionaries of the commune. It stands on the Piazza Maggiore, near the Palazzo Communale and facing the Basilica of St. Petronio. It has the Torre dell'Arengo, whose bell was used to call the people during emergencies. The Palazzo del Podestà is a long building, with a large hall on the upper floor. The lower floor is a double open arcade, the so-called Voltone del Podestà, through which pass two lanes of shops.