31 August 2009 A few days ago, following the transfer of Livorno's American Market to its new site in the Port, the demolition crew moved in on Piazza 20 Settembre to remove the old market structure and to begin work on finally restoring the square to its former splendour. In recent months the area had become increasingly rundown.
The square became famous throughout Italy in the 1960s because of the American Market where it was possible to buy army surplus, jeans and food product from the USA that were unavailable elsewhere.
The Piazza was originally created to coincide with the building of the Church of San Benedetto in the early 19th century. In the centre stands a statue of Leopold II of Austria, now daubed with graffiti. At the moment it is surrounded by heaps of corrugated iron which will gradually be cleared away so that we can rediscover this 'new' Piazza Venti in the heart of Livorno.