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Palazzo Morelli

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Palazzo Morelli, the finest example of Baroque architecture in Locorotondo, gives the name to the street that runs by. Its façade was renovated in the 18th century on commission of Rocco Morelli, the town Mayor at the time, who also purchased  contiguous living units to enlarge the building.
The magnificent portal, located on the farthest left side of the façade, shows all the baroque majesty and splendour. It stands indeed stately and full of decorative details clearly inspired by the civil architecture of Martina Franca.
The portal is framed by two pilasters punctuating a balcony, which is surrounded by railings with mixtilinear openings. The moulding of the entrance arcade is adorned by scrolls and achantus and in the middle, just next to the keystone, by an apotropaic mask with a sneering smile and by the Morellis' coat-of-arms, that is an elephant holding up a tower.
On the right side three lovely small balconies can be seen. Two of them show a mixtilinear fastigium with a shaped bracket and wrought iron railings; the third one is just surrounded by carved stone railings.
Noteworthy are the Pompeian red touches of some stony details ofthe Palace which recall that it could have been painted during the Neoclassical Age, perhaps to harmonize it with Palazzo Aprile.
Getting into the building, there is a small entrance hall with a small staircase which leads to the upper floors. The palace is spread out indeed on three levels : a basement with barrel vaults, a first floor, the so called “piano nobile”, with stellar vaults decorated with stuccoes and tempera paintings, which once communicated with the University building and the upper floor with storerooms adorned by barrel vaults, which are lower than the ones of other floors.

Bibliography
Montanaro, P. - Tursi, G. (1991) Guida di Locorotondo, Locorotondo.

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