Piazza delle Erbe began to take shape towards the end of the 12th century, when a vast unpaved land on the eastern side of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea was used as a venue for the cattle market.
The space in front of Via di Sant’Andrea, now Via Broletto, where shops were already built, was divided in two by Palazzo del Podesta, also known as Palazzo del Broletto, built in 1227.
During the domination of the Bonacolsi and later of the Gonzagas, the administrative and political power center moved gradually from Piazza delle Erbe to the new Piazza San Pietro, now Piazza Sordello.
In 1455, in the western corner of the square, the House of the Merchant Giovan Boniforte da Concorezzo was built, decorated in late Gothic style with Venetian terracotta.
In the second half of the 15th century, Luca Fancelli, the Florentine architect who worked on the construction of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea, transformed the square in Renaissance style. He intervened on Palazzo del Podesta, rebuilt the arcades in front of Palazzo della Ragione and designed the Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio).
The earthquake of May 29, 2012, created many problems for the buildings in the square, in particular for Palazzo della Ragione and the House of the Merchant (Casa del Mercante).
HOW TO GET THERE
Piazza delle Erbe is located about 1 kilometer away from the Mantua railway station. The closest bus stop is Concordia, on the bus Line CC.