Palazzo dei Banchi
Bologna's Renaissance Wall Street
The eastern side of Piazza Maggiore is closed by the Palazzo dei Banchi, with a long, elegant façade designed by Vignola (1568). The façade was all he needed to do: the project was simply to give a common front to a number of buildings that made up Renaissance Bologna’s banking district.
Walking through either of the archways in it takes you to the most joyful corner of old Bologna, the little market district that spreads around the Quadrilatero and Mercato di Mezzo through Via Pescherie Vecchie and Via Clavature, full of market stands, restaurants and fancy food shops– a remnant of the old market that used to fill all of the Piazza Maggiore.