Piazza or Square?

View of Piazza GrandeView of Piazza Grande The word Piazza in Italian is often translated as ‘square’ in English, as in Piazza San Marco – St Mark’s Square in Venice. However,  an Italian Piazza rarely has that regular four-sided shape that the word ‘square’ seems to indicate. In fact, piazzas come in all shapes and sizes, the smaller ones known as piazzette which are sometimes just a widening of the road.

A piazza is an open space in a city centre, an airy light place at the end of streets lined with blocks of several floors which cut out the light. In Livorno there are many Piazzas, generally found at the meeting point of several  important city streets, and representing a hub of activity and a point of reference for locals. They often have statues in the middle, and they are sometimes used for markets, concerts and other special events. In some places they have been turned into car parks, in others they have trees and grass. Each one has its own personality, so take some time to check out Livorno’s Piazzas.