Via Carotti (Carotti's Street)
Some buildings overlook along Via Carotti (Carotti’s Street), which despite their actual degraded and shabby look, reveal by some details an ancient and famous past. In particular, the building at the left has been since the fifteenth century one of the richest residences of Bienno, as witness not only a few architectural elements present on façades, but also the fact that it has originated the frescoes, that now are exhibited in the Council Room of the Municipality and in the Library.
The alley has a typical medieval look: for the direct overlooking of the buildings and the limited width of the passage; for the route, that is not straight and uphill, and at the same time suitable for the conformation of the ground; for the irregular and variously angled connections with the surrounding street system and cross links, in a linear way, with the parallel inferior alley. It is also crossed by two arches, which are similar to those that along the streets of Bienno and in the medieval villages, is often used to see.
The first one is an arch-buttress, which shores up and supports the two opposing walls; the second one is an arch-platform, which allows the connection between the two opposite building blocks without going out and getting down in the street.
Along the alley you can meet some doors and windows that are typically of the fifteenth century, which illustrate the shift from medieval, solid and basic shapes to pre-Renaissance, more aired and proportionate ones, but still rigorous and essential and entirely lacking in references of the classical language.
The openings are bounded by well-shaped and distinct stones, in shape, material and colour, for their walls; here it has been introduced the use of simona stone with its characteristic purple colour, that thanks to its easy working has made possible the most accurate and precise fittings.
On the left of the alley, under the passage, there is a simple gate on the triangular termination lintel of which is engraved the date 1492.
A bit further on, you find two twin portals that have a hanger shape, made up of simona stone that, despite some sloughs and reconstructions, still show their accurate working with their visible bush-hammered and chamfered façades.
On the right, at the top, you can instead find a window with an arch with three ashlars and monolithic piers.
The visible façades are bush-hammered and have a smooth ribbon in intrados. The external profile is irregular, but it was modified with plaster. In the interior part, within the thickness of the wall, there have been obtained two stone chairs.