Piazza Garibaldi, Parma
Square in Parma
The beating heart of Parma can be found at the very center of the city, in the form of Piazza Garibaldi. This square is not only Parma’s central point but its essence, serving as a place for civic activities and gatherings of the townspeople. It is built atop the ancient Roman Forum, and remnants of this history are still visible in nearby monuments, such as the Roman Bridge to the west, recognized by its visible arches from below, and the Roman theater and amphitheater to the south.
Historically known as Piazza del Comune or Piazza Grande, it was later renamed in honor of Italy’s unifier. Since Roman times, this square has functioned as the heart of Parma, playing roles in civic affairs, religious ceremonies, and commercial activities. Within the square, you can find the Palazzo del Governatore, constructed in 1282 as the Palazzo dei Mercanti (merchants’ guild). The Palazzo Vecchio, also known as Palazzo del Comune, dates back to 1221 and features a loggia and intricately frescoed chambers. Its tower, added in 1470, houses an astronomical clock.
The Church of San Pietro, initially established in 980, underwent reconstruction and was later transformed into a Neoclassical structure with Baroque elements during the 1600s. Within its walls, you’ll discover remarkable stuccoes, paintings, and frescoes created by local masters.
During the 1300s, the piazza was enclosed and fortified with battlements and gates that could be sealed at night for defensive purposes. The square bustled with artisan workshops, markets, and shops that surrounded it. It underwent further transformations in the 1800s, ultimately taking on the form and appearance it possesses today. Piazza Garibaldi continues to serve as Parma’s core, with its inviting outdoor cafes and vibrant shopping district radiating around it.
This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!