The Piazza dei Mercanti is one of the most beautiful squares in the Trastevere district in Rome. The most striking building on the square is the House of Ettore Fieramosca. The square formed the background of famous Italian movies, including Vittoria De Sica‘s “Bicycle Thieves”.
Piazza dei Mercanti Rome
History and description
The Piazza dei Mercanti has always been an important square. When the Ripa Grande river port still existed, it was here that the goods that were brought from the sea were traded and transported further on small river boats pulled by oxen. The Ripa Grande was moved toward the end of the 19th century, when the walls along the Tiber were constructed.
Toward the end of the 17th century, the Ospizio Apostolico di San Michele was built, wich changed the character of the square. An ospizio is a sort of old folks’ home. Several smaller buildings were incorporated in the new structure.
The most interesting building in the Piazza dei Mercanti is the one on the corner of the Piazza Santa Cecilia. This 13th century tower house is known as the House of Ettore Fieramosca, a famous mercenary soldier.