Piazza Mercantile, Bari

Square in Bari

Bari - Fontana Della Pigna
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Acquario51

Since medieval times, Ruga Francigena, the Pilgrims’ Route leading to the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Bari, has originated from Merchant Square (Piazza Mercantile). The square was connected to the port by the fortified Tower of Sant’Antonio, erected in 1440 by Prince Giovanni del Balzo Orsini.

Following the devastating fire and explosions of 1601, the ruling House of Sforza undertook significant urban renewal projects. Merchant Square received a major overhaul, with the Seat Palace (Palazzo Sedile) being quickly rebuilt, featuring a bell tower and clock. Additionally, a gate was opened to Ferrarese Square, consolidating the business center of the city.

Journalist Lino Patruno compared Merchant Square to a model that never stops winning our hearts, as if it were for the first time. Historically, the square has been the commercial and political heart of the city, housing the Seat Palace (Palazzo Sedile), which served as the old Town Hall. Today, it remains a popular meeting point for the people of Bari.

Merchant Square is paved with stone, and the Seat Palace, with its 16th-century Clock Tower, provides a historic backdrop. The 16th-century Customs Palace (Palazzo della Dogana) features a stone relief of the Sforza lion, believed to ward off evil. The Baroque Fountain (Fontana Barocca), also known as the Pine Cone Fountain (Fontana della Pigna), has a stem arising from a stone basin and includes a relief of the Madonna.

The Piazza Mercantile, Bari appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Bari!

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Visiting Piazza Mercantile, Bari


24 Hours



Address: Piazza Mercantile, Bari Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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