Usually surrounded by buildings, these famous Italian piazzas are open public squares. In Italy, this is truly the center of public life. Even though a piazza may translate to ‘public square’ in English, it does not have to adhere to any particular shape in order to be considered a piazza.
One of the joys of being in Italy is enjoying a wonderful coffee at one of these famous piazzas and watching the people go about their daily lives.
1. Marostica Piazza degli Scacchi
This century-old town in northern Italy is 10 minutes from Bassano del Grappa and about a half-hour’s drive from Vicenza. The piazza is famous for its ‘human chess board’, where reservations for spectators are actually preferred because it is so highly sought after.
2. Piazza San Pietro – Rome
Most tourists know it as St. Peter’s Square, in Vatican City, directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. The reason the piazza is open is so that larger crowds of spectators would be able to see the Pope when he was giving his blessing. This happened under the direction of Pope Alexander VII.
3. Piazza Del Campo – Siena
This piazza is the premier square in Siena and one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. The original city of Siena was built around three hills. The piazza is where the three hills are connected. The Palio di Siena, a horse race held twice yearly, is held around the edges of the piazza.
Suggested Read: Learn more about Il Palio di Siena, a treasured custom that’s profoundly rooted in the spirits of Siena’s residents.
4. Piazza del Popolo – Ascoli Piceno
You can still sense the Renaissance in tangible and intangible forms here. To walk through the public square in Ascoli Piceno, you can sense its historical importance and beautiful architectural design.
5. Piazza Corpus Domini – Turin
Turin, a city worth visiting, presents a quaint charm that belies its size. Nestled near the grandeur of the Duomo and the stately Palazzo di Citta, this square takes its name from the imposing Corpus Christi church that stands as a sentinel at its edge.
Its intricate baroque elegance is a jewel in Turin’s architectural crown, offering a picturesque slice of history in the city’s heart.
6. Piazza Carignano – Turin
This piazza is one of the most beautiful areas of Turin. On one side of the piazza is the famous Palazzo Carignano. On the other side, you can find the famous Pepino ice cream parlor, the Cambio restaurant, and the Carignano Theatre.
7. Piazza Barberini – Rome
This piazza is at the foot of several Roman streets, including Via Vittorio Veneto, Via Sistina, and Via Barberini. For tourists, it is often the third stop in the ‘tourist triangle’ composed of the Trevi Fountain (arguably the most famous fountain in Italy) to the southwest and the Spanish Steps to the northwest.
8. Piazza San Marco – Venice
Aside from the gondolas, the first thing people think about when they think of Venice is Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square).
Truly one of the most famous Italian piazzas, Piazza San Marco is a tourist destination that you can visit year-round and bask in its unparalleled beauty.
Recommended Read: Is Venice Worth Visiting? Your Essential Travel Guide
With the many tourists looking around, the laid-back locals enjoying the weather, the scores of pigeons, the many stalls, and the patterned floor, there is always something to do here.
9. Piazza di Spagna – Rome
The Piazza di Spagna is in the center of Rome and was built in the 18th century. The design is both stylish and graceful. Especially when you have encountered the raucous traffic of the city, this piazza makes for a welcome change. The cosmopolitan and animated atmosphere and beautiful flowerbeds make it even more appealing.
10. Piazza Navona – Rome
Arguably the most beautiful of Rome’s many squares, it is certainly amongst the most famous. This piazza is a marvel of sculpture and light. This is where the ancient Romans would gather to watch their games.