If you’re at all familiar with the Italian language, you’ll no doubt recognize that the Piazza del Mercato in Siena is the city’s historic market square.
Located behind the iconic town hall and tower in Siena’s historic center, the Piazza del Mercato was the setting for an outdoor market in this Tuscan town as far back as the 12th century. Vendors at those first markets sold the same things you’ll find on sale at Italian markets today – meat and fish, fruit and vegetables, as well as household items, clothing, and even fuel such as coal and oil.
Early on, the stands were structures that remained in the Piazza del Mercato all the time, even when the market was closed. Later, the vendors were moved to the nearby Piazza del Campo, and in the 1950s the market was moved to Viale XXIV Aprile.
Today, even though the name Piazza del Mercato no longer reflects the purpose of the square, it’s a good spot to go in Siena to enjoy views of the hills behind the town hall.