Piazza Mercanti is a picturesque square in Milan located very near the Duomo. During the Middle Ages, the plaza was the commercial and governmental centre of the city. It doesn’t currently have the same role, but it is still a charming Medieval area housing a number of unusual buildings.
Representative of the Middle Ages
Piazza Mercanti still preserves an authentic Medieval atmosphere thanks to the unique buildings it houses. The buildings remain intact to this day and the following are worth exploring:
- Palazzo della Ragione: The Palazzo della Ragione is a magnificent red-brick building that was inaugurated in 1233 to house the courts of justice of the city. The city’s market was located underneath the building’s impressive porches.
- Loggia degli Osii: This striking building has large open arches that are decorated with statues and coats of arms. It was where the judicial and notary activities of the city took place.
- Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine: During the Middle Ages, this impressive structure became the most important higher school of Milan. Many famous Milanese went to school here.
- Casa dei Panigarola: The beautiful Gothic-styled building served as a notary seat and is particularly impressive because of its porticoes. It is now a restaurant.
- Palazzo dei Giureconsulti: In front of the Palazzo della Ragione, in the exterior part of the Piazza is the Palazzo dei Giureconsulti. It housed the Chamber of Commerce. The tower’s clock was used to mark Milan’s business hours for many years.