The architectonic and urban heritage of Lugo goes back to the 18th century, a time of great cultural vivacity and economic development for the city. A rare example of 18th-century civic architecture, almost anticipating modern urban solutions, the Pavaglione was built starting from 1771 and completed in 1784 by Giuseppe Campana. It is an imposing four-sided portico, built on the older late-16th-century loggia for the needs of the then flourishing silk cocoon market (papilio in Latin, from which the name of the complex). Restored in 1984, the Pavaglione is an irregular quadrilateral, whose longer sides are respectively 131 and 133 metre long, while the short sides are 82 metre long. The result of the civic commitment of the second part of the 18th-century, the Pavaglione still hosts the most prominent commercial activities of the town. Besides the typical shops opening under the loggia, today like two-hundred years ago the building houses the weekly market and the fair, together with several economic events. In summer it also plays venue to musical events: the combination music-market refers to a very ancient tradition, rooted in the times when the market was an opportunity for meetings and also entertainment offered by jesters and actors, who were attracted by the richness and prosperity of the commerce. Several documents bear witness to the diverse theatrical events that took place during the fair since the 16th century. For instance, we know that a company of comedians had been in Lugo since 1586, and in 1594 Il Filleno, a pastoral fable by Illuminato Perazzoli, was staged in the ancient loggia then on the site where the Pavaglione would be built; while in 1641 Guarini’s Pastor fido was staged in the same open spaces. Benedetto Marcello, in Il teatro alla moda (1720), made the mother of a singer say that her daughter had performed in Lugo, “dov’as’fa qui gran uperun” (that is to say: where those great plays took place).
Pavaglione, Lugo (RA)