The piazza is at the heart of Italian life and each one boasts its own unique history and atmosphere – here we pay homage to a few of our favourites
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1 Dubbed by Napoleon “Europe’s finest drawing room”, Venice’s Piazza San Marco is simply breathtaking. Even during the height of the season, when it’s swamped with tourists, the glory of this 900-year-old piazza cannot be dimmed. It’s bordered on all sides by iconic architecture, including the likes of the magnificent Basilica di San Marco and the mighty tower of the Campanile. To fully appreciate the beauty of this square, pay a visit late in the evening, or in winter, when you will feel more like you have the place to yourself.
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2 Siena’s Piazza del Campo occupies the site of the old Roman forum and is still the focus of the city’s public life. The architecture is out of this world and the palio that takes place here twice a year adds an exciting element of spectacle that no other piazza can match.
Find out more about Siena’s top spots here
3 Elegant as anything and dating back to the 19th century, the unmissable Piazza della Repubblica in Florence is a wonderful place to have a meal or a drink, and one of the best restaurants in the city has a number of outdoor tables here.
There’s more on Florence travel here
4 Rome boasts a plethora of astounding piazzas waiting to be discovered on a leisurely stroll around the city, but baroque Piazza Navona is perhaps the finest of them all. Lined with palazzi and pavement cafés, it’s easy to lose a whole day here, marvelling at your surroundings and kicking back with a caffè or a gelato.
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5 There’s just something about the way the light shines down onto Verona’s Piazza delle Erbe, highlighting the frescoes decaying on the façades of the mismatched buildings. It’s one of Verona’s loveliest sights and is still the centre of the city’s social activity.
You can find more travel advice for Verona here