Piazza della Repubblica
(Italian pronunciation: pyah-tsah   day-la   ray-poo-blee-kah)

What was once the ancient Roman forum where the cardo and the decumanus crossed, was the lively center of the Old Market (Mercato Vecchio) in medieval times.  It acquired its present aspect, anonymous and in Piedmontese style, when the center of Florence was torn down in 1887.  The old towers and houses, the historical Hebrew ghetto, churches, shops, and open-air markets gave way to the palaces, cafes, and the enormous arcade that leads to the Via Strozzi, dedicated together with the square to Vittorio Emanuele II.

short movie clip showing night performers at the Piazza Repubblica (mov. format - 11 mb)