• About

    Piazza della Repubblica is one of the main squares of Florence, located in the historical center of the city, about 200 meters away from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    Piazza della Repubblica was the center of the ancient city of Florence during the Roman times. Here, there was the Roman forum, which gathered the most important religious and civil buildings of that period.

    During the Middle Ages, Piazza della Repubblica was defined as a public space intended for trade, while the square of the Cathedral (Piazza del Duomo) was a place for politics, and Piazza della Signoria for civil affairs.

    In the 16th century, the square was renamed Mercato Vecchio (Old Market), due to the construction of Loggia del Mercato Nuovo near Ponte Vecchio. Here was also the Jewish Ghetto, where Cosimo I forced the local Jews to reside.

    The only evidence left of the Old Market square is Colonna della Dovizia (Column of Wealth), also known as Colonna dell’Abbondanza (Column of the Abundance). The current version of the column dates back to 1431 and has on top a statue representing the Abundance, made by Giovan Battista Foggini, who replaced the original by Donatello, irreparably deteriorated in 1721.

    The current appearance of the square is due to the interventions implemented following the proclamation of Florence as the Capital of Italy, in 1865. Some buildings in the square were erected between 1885 and 1895, in a period known as the Risanamento (Rehabilitation).

    On September 20, 1890, the monument of Vittorio Emanuele II was inaugurated in the presence of the King, and for a while the square was named after him.

    The arcades with the triumphal arch, known as Arcone, were designed by Vincenzo Micheli in 1895, inspired by the Florentine Renaissance. However, the modern additions made them far from the true ancient style.

     

    HOW TO GET THERE

    Piazza della Repubblica is located about 900 meters away from the Santa Maria Novella railway station. The closest bus stop is Vecchietti, located about 140 meters away, in Via de’ Vecchietti, on the bus Lines 6 and 11.

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