Piazza Maggiore is located at the very centre of Bologna. In the past the square underwent many changes and was further enriched with important buildings: Basilica di San Petronio, Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo dei Bianchi.
It was built where once there was just a grassy area. The Municipality of Bologna decided to have it built in order to homage the importance of the city and at the same time to gather all the city activities (commerce, trade, etc).
Originally, the square came to be known as curia Communis or platea Communis, and during the 16th century it was given its current name for the first time. From the expulsion of the Austrian army to 1944, it was named after the King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. So, just after 1945 it was given its final and current name: Piazza Maggiore.