Bologna's main square, Piazza Maggiore, is both its geographic centre and its cultural and political heart.
The spacious piazza began to take on its current shape in the 13th century, and soon afterwards, it found itself encircled by the city's most important edifices. For the first time visitor, standing in the middle of la Piazza, as it is referred to locally, and gazing at the impressive architecture surrounding it could be an overwhelming experience.
On one side is the enormous, albeit unfinished Basilica di San Petronio, and on the other three sides are monumental public palaces: Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà, and Palazzo dei Banchi.
The impressive Piazza Maggiore is connected to another square, Piazza del Nettuno, which is marked by the famous statue of Neptune.