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Foto di Davide Del Puglia

According to this policy, by right Orvieto will never become part of St. Peter's Property, even though in the future it will de facto. The town reached the apex of its political and artistic grandeur during the XIII and XIV centuries. In the Commune the middle classes had the control over the institutions. The passage from a consulate ruled over by noblemen, and magnates to a system governed by the "populares" is characterized by the founding of the Commander of the Iocal Militia in 1250. On the outside the town's maximum expansion was when it occupied a territory spreading from Mount Amiata to the Tiber valley and from the Tiber to the sea comprising Orbetello. The democratization of Commune politics and the religious ferment in the town are connected with Orvieto's urbanistic transformation, with the construction of public and private buildings and squares. Between 1210 and 1270 the People's Palace is built in the centre of the town. In 1281 on the iniziative of the Commander of the Militia Neri della Greca the houses around the People's Palace are pulled down to construct a square that could contain all the people during the assemblies and the new Palace is built. During the same period the Palace of the Popes is built in different phases, with the Palace of Urban IV (1262-64), of Martin IV (1271-84) that connects it to the bishop's residence and with Soliano Palace also known as the palace of Boniface VIII (1297-1304). In all these buildings architectural solutions which are typical of Orvieto and were previously expressed in the Abbey of Saints Severus and Martirio reach their perfection. At the same time, the churches and the convents of the mendicant orders are built along the "banks" according to a costum of the free communes. In 1240-66 the church and convent of St. Francis where Gregory IX celebrates the funeral of Henry of England and in 1297 Boniface VIII canonizes Louis IX King of France; in 1260 the church and convent of St. Dominic, in the "stadium" of which Thomas d'Aquino teaches; in 1263 the church and the convent of St. Augustin and in 1265-75 the church and convent of Mary's Servants. Also other churches occupy a prominent position in the life of Orvieto, the church of St. Andrew, the main Commune church, where Innocent III proclaimed a crusade that never took place in 1216; Honorius III crowned Peter d'Artois king of Jerusalem in 1217; Martin IV was consacrated pope and the future Nicholas IV and Boniface VIII were nominated cardinals. However, these two centuries cannot be considered as a period of political stability and the commune's dispositions undergo continual changes due to the civil fights between various factions. The two rival families that distinguish themselves at the beginning of the XIII century, about which there is an echo in Dante's purgatory, the Guelph Monaldeschi and the Ghibelline Filippeschi, divide the town in two parties, facing each other in continual wars of which we have news in the sentences against the people and their properties passed by the Commune. This period of unsteadiness is also characterized by a need for the supernatural that leads to the large presence of "heretics", continuously put on trial by the Inquisition, on the one hand, and the Eucharist Miracle that will allow Pope Urban IV to establish the feast of Corpus Christi (1264) throughout the western Christian world, on the other. The most important event of the period is the opening of the building yard of the Cathedral (1290). lt brought all the political and religious ferments mentioned above to come together.