The focal point of Bologna's city centre, the Piazza Maggiore separates the city into 4 very distinct zones. Strada Maggiore to the east is home to all manner of shopping; the west side of the square is full of small streets with butchers, fresh fruit, cafés and restaurants. The north is a distinct business sector with offices dominating and the south is a relaxed residential quarter.
Constructed in the 15th century, the square has changed very little and is surrounded with magnificent buildings including 4 different palaces (dei Banchi, dei Notai, d'Accursio and del Podestà) and the Basilica of San Petronio.
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