Palazzo Comunale: A Piece in the Twilight Phenomenon
By: Barbra Sy, 2011-14276
To most people, Palazzo Comunale may just be another historical building in Italy, but to the eyes of the fans of the best selling book series, Twilight, around the world, Palazzo Comunale is definitely not just an ordinary structure. This building with Etruscan origins was one of the settings for the sequel of Twilight, New Moon. Specifically, where Edward attempted to reveal himself as a vampire to the crowd in the festival happening outside the Palazzo when Bella, his human love interest, saves him from his suicidal state. The pair then shares a passionate kiss outside the Palazzo. Because of the scenes shot in the area, the Palazzo is now the most visited tourist spot of the town. But before all the hoopla on the Twilight series, this building had simpler origins.
In my perspective, although the original setting of the movie was supposed to be in Volturra, Italy, was mentioned in the book, I can see why the director showed interest in Montepulciano. The atmosphere of the area exudes a haunted and mysterious feel that was called for by the scene. Edward, played by Robert Pattinson, at that time was depressed and was about to reveal to the townsfolk the existence of the vampire race. This called for a place like Montepulciano, unlike the real life Volturra, which grasped the aura of the movie. The town has a charming, yet somewhat scaryfeel, which may be caused by its history. Definitely, without this setting, the New Moon movie would lack that extra spice that Montepulciano offers.
Palazzo Comunale is located in the quiet town of Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy. This massive building started to be conceptualized in the late fourteenth century then built on 1424 by Florentine renaissance architect, Michelozzo. The original plan for the building was conceptualized to have a Gothic styled façade. But later, other elements such as the clock tower and some parts of the exterior were added. The tower is currently open to all visitors. The entire city across the Tuscan countryside may be viewed at the top of the tower.
Before all this, Montepulciano was first a contender to the power of Siena and Florence, until eventually falling under the control of Florence. Cosimo de Medici ordered Montepulciano to have a second layer of fortifications. At present day, Montepulciano is a quiet agricultural hill town known for having rich history, art, and most specially, good wine. Vino Nobile is the most well known and sought after red wine in the city. The town is located at an altitude of 600 meters and is found on top of a limestone ridge. According to scholars and archeologists, the first residents of the area date back to 3rd and 4th BC, before the Etruscans. Piazza Grande is the crowning jewel of the town for it hosts the Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Tarugi , and the Duomo. It is the center of public life in the area.
The town, however, was not as well known to the world before the Twilight Saga filming. It had always been under the radar, hence, there is so little to be researched on the area besides from its functions. In my opinion, I must stress that this should not be the case because looking at the area through pictures; it seems to deserve more credit than it is accounted for.