Piazza Maggiore is located in the very centre of Bologna. In the past, the square underwent many changes and was embellished with important buildings: the Basilica di San Petronio, Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo d’Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo dei Bianchi.
It was built where there once was just a grassy area. In 1200, the Municipality started purchasing houses and land to build a square that would homage the importance of the city and gather all city activities (commerce, trade and various kinds of services) at the same time.
Just around the corner, there is Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) built between 1563 and 1566 by the Flemish sculptor Giambologna.
It is a symbol of the power of the Pope: he ruled the world like Neptune ruled the seas. At the feet of the statue there are four little angels.
They represent the rivers of the four discovered continents at that time: Ganges, Nile, Amazon River and Danube.