Italy Piazza Giuseppe Verdi

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
Piazza Verdi is dedicated to Italian musician Giuseppe Verdi. The piazza, which is directly in front of the Teatro Comunale, is half-way down the Via Zamboni and is in the heart of the university quarter. Built in the 15th century, it was originally part of the Palazzo Bentivoglio. When the palace was destroyed in 1506, its name was changed to the Piazza di Santa Cecilia, after the oratory that overlooks the square. Years later, the piazza stood “nameless” and was considered part of Via Zamboni. Eventually, in 1951, it took its current name of Piazza Verdi.

The Piazza is a melting pot of classical music goers, students, tourists, and street vendors. During summer, the square is often used for open-air events. The square is also home to La Scuderia Café, a hot spot for Bologna’s social scene.

Violent riots broke out in the piazza as part of the Movement of 1977. The student movement fought against both the police and the military in an effort to stop the socio-political turmoil of that time. After a far-left leaning student was shot in the back by the carabinieri during an order to disperse the protest that morning, armored vehicles were sent into the university area. Clashes with the police caused numerous casualties among people caught up in the riots, including innocent locals.

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