In 1927, the Municipality of Brescia, supported by the Fascist politician Augusto Turati, by the Fascist Party and by Benito Mussolini himself, held a competition for a new urban redesign of the ancient medieval area of the Pescherie district. The winner was the Roman architect Marcello Piacentini.
The demolition of the area began in 1929 and was completed in less than two years. During the works, buildings of great historical value were lost, such as the 15th-century slaughterhouse and the Romanesque Church of Sant’Ambrogio, rebuilt in the 18th century.
In 1932, during the ceremony of inauguration of the square, which coincided with the tenth anniversary of the birth of fascism, Benito Mussolini himself was present and gave a speech.
The construction of the large underground car park, which took place in 1974, forced large ventilation grids to be opened over a large part of the central area of the square.
The general renovation of the square, connected to the creation of the Metro station, was completed at the end of 2013. The area was pedestrianized, with a new pavement and the construction of a new fountain on the west side.
The square has an L-shape – a rectangle with the long side parallel to the north-south axis and, in the northwest corner, the remaining portion of the area that constitutes the L.
To the northwest, there is the high Tower INA (National Insurance Institute), which, with its 15 floors and a height of 57.25 meters, is the first skyscraper built in Italy and among the very first in Europe.
In the northwest corner of the square, there is the Church of Sant’Agata, built in the 16th century. To the north of the square, stands the large Palazzo delle Poste, with its two-color coating. The Tower of the Revolution (Torre della Rivoluzione) completes the square to the northeast, with a clock on top and – in the past – a bas-relief depicting Mussolini on horseback.
TIP: The square is home to the antiques market, which is held every second Sunday of each month.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest Metro station is Vittoria, located on the northwest corner of the square. The closest bus stop is in Via Giuseppe Verdi, on the bus Line 9.