The largest square in Bologna
Bologna would not be Bologna without its atmospheric Piazza Maggiore. But few people know that there is a much larger square in the old city centre, twice as wide and inextricably linked to some of the most significant episodes in the city's history. We’re talking about Piazza VIII Agosto, where its origins go back as far as the Iron Age. Excavations to build the huge underground car park where cars can be left today, unearthed a large archaeological site, where Medieval, Villanovan and Roman remains are intermingled.
Since the 13th century, it was known as the Market Square as it was the site of the cattle market. Even today, every Friday and Saturday, the square comes to life with the stalls of the “Piazzola”, with over 400 vendors.
The name of the square as it is known today refers to 8 August 1848, when the people of Bologna defeated the Austrian army here and drove the troops out of the city. To commemorate this great victory, the square is dominated by the Monumento al Popolano, a 20th-century work by Pasquale Rizzoli.