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Piazza della Repubblica

The Ancient Forum, Emptied

Piazza della Repubblica

On the map, it’s easy to pick out the small rectangle of narrow, straight streets around Piazza della Repubblica, just behind the Palazzo Strozzi; these remain unchanged from the little castrum of Roman days.

At its centre was the old Roman forum, with its temple of Mars, the city's patron god, with a statue that was the ancestor of the Marcocco. The forum deteriorated through the Dark Ages into a market square and the Jewish ghetto, a piquant, densely populated quarter of medieval tower houses, chapels, workshops and guild headquarters known as the Mercato Vecchio. It was the commercial heart of the city, filled with historic buildings, the epitome of the picturesque for 19th-century tourists; see the photos in the Palazzo Vecchio.

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Streets and Squares

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Comune di Firenze, Creative Commons License, Glenfarclas, GNU Creative Commons License, PD Art