Palazzo d'Accursio o Comunale
The Town Hall consists of a set of buildings, that over the centuries have gradually been joined to the oldest acquired by the city at the end of the thirteenth century. Including among other things, Accursio’s home, teacher of law, at the University of Bologna. It was originally intended to keep the public reserve, "some grain-growing and municipal offices”. In 1336 it became the residence of the Elders, the highest judiciary of the City Government and is the seat of city government.
Renovated and expanded in the first half of the fifteenth century, with the help of Architect Fioravante Fioravanti, it was enriched with a clock tower in Accursio and according to examples common in central Europe, a carousel with wooden automata (Madonna with Child and the court of Magi). It was removed in 1796 (some of this still remains today, and is preserved with the Municipal Art Collections, second floor).
In front you can still find the Madonna and Child by Nicholas Ark (1478) gilted and polychromed. For a few years an image of Julius II could be found here (destroyed in 1511 at the time of an attempted return of Bentivoglio in the city). It was enriched with a beautiful portal in the mid-sixteenth century by Galeazzo Alessi, over which was laid a great bronze statue of Pope Gregory XIII (pontiff Boncompagni family of Bologna) in 1580, due to the sculptor Alexander Menganti.
Climbing the century old cordoned ladder within the complex you can visit a traditional attribute to Bramante. It was originally designed for riding a triumphant ascent of the city government representatives, a succession of halls loggias and chapels.
Senate Hall now the City Council Hall
Regia Hall then Farnese
Chapel of Legato or Farnese
The presentations of past centuries date back to several Halls of the palace.
The first-floor Rossa Hall
On the second storey, inside the winter apartment of the cardinal legates, today housing the Municipal art Collections, is situated Sala Urbana. Dedicated in 1630 to Pope Urban VIII presents on its walls a gallery of coats-of-arms of legates, deputy legates, and governors ruling Bologna between 1327 and 1744. The room is visitable only by request.
The access to Sala Borsa faces instead the Neptune fountain. It is located in the place where the botanical garden or herb garden created in 1568 by Ulisse Aldrovandi near the summer apartment of the cardinal legate previously stood. After several uses, in 1883 - 86 it became the commodity market with the building of a cast iron and glass pavilion, and subsequent addition of a second storey in the next century. Since December 2001 it has housed the Municipal Multimedia Library.
Today the upper storey of the palace houses two civic museums:
Municipal Art Collections
more details are on the site with descriptions