The Piazza Cavour is Rimini‘s main square and is located in the middle of the city’s historic center. Located halfway down the main street Corso d’Augusto, this busy square is flanked by large numbers of cafés and eateries, as well as several historic buildings.
Piazza Cavour Rimini
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History and description
The site of the Piazza Cavour is where the second Roman Forum of Rimini used to be. In the Middle Ages this area became the central part of the city.
Nowadays, the area around Piazza Cavour has become Rimini’s entertainment district.
Three sides of the square are taken up by historical buildings, while the remaining side contains shops and cafes.
What to see
Fountain of the Pines
The fountain in the central fo the square is the Fontana delle Pigna. Until 1912, this was the only place in the city center providing potable water. The pine cone is an 1809 addition and replaced a statue depicting St Paul. According to an inscription on the fountain itself, even Leonardo da Vinci was very impressed by its elegance and architectural harmony.
Statue of Paul V
The statue next to the Fontana della Pigna depicts Pope Paul V and was designed by Sebastiano Sebastiani in 1613. During the Napoleonic rule, there were fears that the French would destroy the statue, so the epigraph with the pope’s name was removed and the papal tiara replaced by a mitre, so that the statue would resemble city’s patron saint, San Gaudenzio. Only in 1890 was the statue returned to its original condition.
The building directly in front of the fountain is the Palazzo dell’Arengo and is considered Rimini’s most important civic building. It used to be the seat of the city’s people’s council. Beneath the loggia on the ground floor was an enclosure called the Pietra dello Scandolo. At this “Scandal stone”, debtors had to slap their own backsides three times after having been declared bankrupt.
Palazzo del Podestà
The palace next to the Palazzo dell’Arenga is the Palazzo del Podestà, built in the 14th century. From the central arch hung a cord from which criminals were hanged.
Next door again is the neo-classical Teatro A. Galli , inaugurated by Giuseppe Verdi in 1857. It was named after the composer and journalist Amintore Galli. Originally, however, it was dedicated to King Vittorio Emanuele II. The theater was erected in 1843 by Luigi Poletti, who often worked for the Pope. He took his inspiration for the neo-classical design from Roman architecture.
A final interesting building is the Palazzo Garampi, which today serves as Rimini’s town hall.
Points of interest near Piazza Cavour
From the square, one can enter the ancient Pescheria Vecchia. Fish used to be sold on the marble tables under the arches of this building.
Piazzetta delle Poveracce
Immediately behind it is the Piazzetta delle Poveracce (“Square of the Poor”), where, apart from mussels, fish not up to the standards of the Pescheria was sold.