Piazza Maggiore is the main square of Bologna and, at the same time, one of the most beautiful in Italy. The square is surrounded by the most important buildings of the medieval city, of which we can mention Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo d’Accursio, Palazzo dei Notai, Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo dei Banchi.
Piazza Maggiore is one of the very first squares built in Italy after the fall of the Roman Empire. The square was built starting with the year 1200, when the local people felt the need to have a central market and a public place for meeting.
Only in the 15th century, the square received its present form, while in the 16th century the entire area was rearranged by papal will. Also, in the same century, the adjacent Piazza del Nettuno with the splendid Fountain of Neptune was built.
In 1860, Piazza Maggiore was named after Vittorio Emanuele II, until 1943, when the king’s equestrian monument was transferred to the Margherita Gardens, where it is still located. From 1943 to 1945, the square was called Piazza della Repubblica, and in June 1945 received its current name.
The square measures 115 meters in length and 60 meters in width, and it’s closed to the west by Palazzo Comunale (Palazzo d’Accursio), an architectural complex from the 14th century, currently occupied by the Municipality of Bologna, the Municipal Art Collections and the Morandi Museum.
To the south, we have Palazzo dei Notai and the unfinished facade of the Basilica of San Petronio, an example of Italian Gothic, began at the end of the 14th century and never finished.
To the east, there is Palazzo dei Banchi, erected between 1565 and 1568 to a design by Giacomo Barozzi, and to the north lies Palazzo del Podesta, dating back to 1200, surmounted by Torre dell’Arengo.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest bus stop is Piazza Maggiore, located on the eastern edge of the square, on the bus lines 29, A, C and T2. If you would like to reach the square on foot, from any point in the city, use the map below.