Dante Alighieri square
- Category Art History and Culture
The existence of a "platea communis" (town square) is remembered in Grosseto since 1222; the whole area was, however, deeply restructured on the occasion of the erection of the Cathedral, starting from the end of the thirteenth century. In the Sienese era we know that all the most important buildings and residences in the city were concentrated here. Neglected and abandoned in the Medici era, it was instead the object of particular attention, like the rest of the city, in the Lorraine era, when it was completely repaved and the central area bounded by columns joined by chains, which gave it the popular name to the square of Piazza delle Catene (in reality the official name was Piazza Grande).
In 1833 a small cast iron temple was placed on the ancient Sienese well, then moved to Arcidosso, where it still stands, to make room for the monument to Leopoldo II of Lorraine, which involved a new rearrangement of the entire area. With the unification of Italy it was renamed Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.
In 1870 the town hall was built, demolishing some buildings on the northern side of Piazza Duomo, including the church of S. Giovanni Decollato, while in 1899 the praetorian palace was demolished and the Palazzo della Provincia was built in its place. In the Fascist era the square changed its name once again, being named after Ettore Muti, soldier, airman and secretary of the PNF. In 1937 the Palazzo dei Priori was also demolished, expanding the space in front of the Cathedral, which between 1947 and 1950 was replaced by Palazzo Alben. Also in the immediate post-war period it received its current name after Dante Alighieri and in 1956 stones, chains and benches were eliminated to make way for a large parking lot. Only in 2002 the ancient nineteenth-century appearance was restored that we can still appreciate today.