Once called “Piazza da' Piedi”, the Obelisk square in Tagliacozzo is one of the most beautifulones of the entire region, and it represents the hearth of the city. In the past, it was surrounded by many open colonnades, but during the 19th century they were closed and turned into wine cellars and craft shops. At the center of the square used to be a wooden bench that was once used to shame insolvent debtors, but it was later replaced with the fountain and the obelisk still present today.
The square is truly stunning – the many buildings with their delicate pastel colors, the small restaurant and the shops – and it is extremely lively especially during the summer season, when many different events are organized. From the square you can take one of the many small alleys and reach the upper part of the town that was once surrounded by defensive walls. Be sure to visit the cloister of San Francis, the Ducal Palace, the Talia Theatre, and the naturalistic path that leads to the spring of the Imele river.
The square was designed to be harmonious and to have a human scale. The most ancient buildings are located on the longer side: here you can still admire a narrow and tall building that boasts two elegant gothic double-arched windows, on top of which there is an arcade with round arches.
The crest belonged to the Orsini family. The last arcade is fake, and it was realized in 1925 – yet still, it is sufficiently well-done to blend smoothly with the rest. Another building on the left has several windows with Renaissance-like carvings. During the years, the oldest buildings were annexed to more modern constructions, like for example the Mancini-Argoli Palace, the Fallace Palace, and the Valentini Palace, built between the 17th and the 19th century.