In the ancient times this square was the center of the roman city, the place where cardo and decumanus intersect. Now a column rise in this exact point to remember the past, and it’s called Colonna dell’Abbondanza (column of abundance).
From the year 1000 this square hosted the old city market.
The present appearance of Piazza della Repubblica is the result of the city planning done after the proclamation of Florence as the capital of Italy (1865-71). In this years large parts of the city centre were demolished to create the large squares and streets that a capital needed.
The decision to enlarge the square needed the destruction of several historical important buildings: medieval towers, churches, the corporate seats of the Arti, palaces, craftsmen's shops and thousand of houses.
The demolition was presented as a necessity, as the area's insanitary conditions were to be improved, but was in reality led above all to building speculation and to legitimization of the will of the emerging middle-class, protagonist in the events that bring Italy to unification.
The big arch in Piazza della Repubblica, called Arcone, remember with an inscription the huge demolition of the 19th century:
L’antico centro della città
Da secolare squallore
A vita nuova restituito
"The ancient centre of the city
Colonna dell'Abbondanza, the exact place where cardo and decumanus used to meet in the roman city of Florence
the big arch of Piazza della Repubblica from the back