This square is the heart of the city, the landing place for travellers from any directions. The ancient Via Emilia – backbone of entire Emilia Romagna region from east to west, forms one side of the square. Via Indipendenza, the main road of the city, from north, ends here in the square, as does the roads from hills (south).

The square was opened at the beginning of the thirteenth century, and has kept its dimensions, exceptionally large for the time (60 meters by 115). The city governors wished to give Bologna a public meeting place suitable to the political  aspiration of a city which could boast the world’s most ancient university, and with 50.000 inhabitants and seven kilometres of walls, was one of the largest and the most prestigious cities in Europe.

In 1404, the square was paved with bricks set in a herringbone pattern an surrounded by flagstones; in 1407 the east side was adorned with arcades to make a harmonious façade  concealing  the old houses.

Piazza Maggiore  is an early example of the scenic, almost theatrical, squares that were to be a feature of the Renaissance . Today the square is still the centre of the city, the meeting point of citizens, the destination of tourists, the heart of culture and entertainment: here should begin your visit to Bologna.

Piazza Maggiore