The San Gimignano Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) is also called Palazzo del Popolo or Palazzo Nuovo del Podestà. It is located in Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) next to the Collegiate Church and the San Gimingnano Civic Museum is located inside it. The building has a facade in which there are windows with segmental arches and large hewn stone bosses, while the upper part is made of brick. On the first floor, there is a balcony, from which the podestà once spoke to the crowds.
You can enter the museum from the courtyard behind the Palazzo. On the first floor, there is the Sala del Consiglio (Council Chamber), also called Sala Dante, in memory of the Florentine poet who visited San Gimignano in 1299 as an ambassador of the Guelph League. In the chamber, you can see a cycle of frescoes dating back to the end of the 13th century, with knights’ tournaments and hunting scenes dedicated to Charles of Anjou. The frescoes are attributed to the Florentine painter Azzo di Masetto. High up on the walls, the frescoed coats of arms belong to the French families accompanying Charles II of Anjou, who had fought in the battle of Campaldino. On the wall to the right, there is the Madonna in Maestà, painted in 1317 by Lippo Memmi, a painter from the Sienese school and follower of Simone Martini. The Sala della Adunanze segrete (Room of secret Gatherings) was the room used by the city government and inside it there are ancient carved and inlaid wooden seats. A flight of steps leads from this room to the Torre Grossa.
On the second floor, there is the Camera del Podestà (Podestà's Room), frescoed with the Positive and negative outcomes of the initiation into love of a young man by Memmo di Filippuccio, Lippo's father. Love episodes with unfortunate outcomes are portrayed, some of which concern the philosopher Aristotle, who was in love with the courtesan Phyllis. The positive results are depicted in some matrimonial scenes of serene life, such as the image of the newlyweds lying down in a typically medieval domestic setting. These stories were a warning to the Podestà, who was not to be distracted by the senses when carrying out his institutional duties.
Also n the second floor, there is the Art gallery with works, among others, by Benozzo Gozzoli, Benedetto da Maiano, Filippino Lippi and Pinturicchio.