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Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia from Trieste, Italy

Piazza Grande or Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia is the largest square with a view to the sea in the whole of Europe, measuring almost 17000 m2. Although separated by a road and a promenade, the square and the waters of the Adriatic seem to blend together when the passerby gazes at the space from the other side of the square. There lies the Fontana dei Quattro Continenti, the point towards which almost all the important roads of the city lead to. Only two flag masts frame the perspective.

The history of the square begins in 1252, with the building of a first Palazzo Comunale, but its current look is much newer, reflecting the changes in the second half of the 19th century, when the city was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Most of the monumental buildings that define the square’s perimeter are built after 1858.