Piazza Libertà changed its name several times over the centuries. During the Middle Ages, the square was known as Piazza del Vino (Square of the Wine). In 1350, after the town council established there, the square took the name of Piazza del Comune, and after 1500, with the arrival of the Venetians, it took the name of one of the lieutenants, becoming Piazza Contarena.
After the unification of Friuli with Italy in 1866, the square was dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II. An equestrian monument dedicated to the King was inaugurated on August 26, 1883, and transfered in 1947 to the Ricasoli Gardens. Only after the Second World War, the square was named Piazza della Libertà.
The most important building in the square is the Town Hall, Loggia del Lionello, a palace in Venetian Gothic style, built between 1448 and 1457 after a design by Nicolò Lionello.
Opposite the Town Hall, we can find the Loggia di San Giovanni, built in 1533 by the Lombard architect Bernardino da Morcote. As an integral part of the Loggia of San Giovanni, we have the Clock Tower, built in 1527 by Giovanni da Udine. The Clock Tower is embelished by the sculptures of two Moors which strike the hours, dated 1850.
Near the Loggia di San Giovanni, there is the Arco Bollani, designed by Andrea Palladio in 1556. The arch is surmounted by the Lion of St. Mark, and practically represents the entrance to the Castle of Udine.
Other monuments in the square are the Fountain of Carrara, built in 1542 by Giovanni Carrara, the column with the Lion of St. Mark, built in 1539, the column with the Statue of Justice, built in 1614, and the 17th-century statues of Hercules and Cacus.
In the square, we can also find the Monument of Peace, which was placed here in 1819. The monument was commissioned during the French domination, to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Campo Formio, a peace settlement between France and Austria from 1797.
HOW TO GET THERE
Piazza della Libertà is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Udine railway station. The closest bus stop, Piazza della Libertà, can be found inside the square, on the bus Line M.