Seat of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Crafts, Palazzo della Mercanzia has been regulating Bologna's commercial and trading activities since the late 14th century.
At the centre of the façade there is a small marble balcony surmounted by an elegant steeple. Local tradition dictates that the sentences of the merchant's court would be read upon the sounding of the "Lucardina" bell. Those found guilty of bankruptcy would be chained to a stake in front of a central pillar of the loggia and subjected to public ridicule.
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