Piazza Maggiore is located in the very centre of Bologna. In the past, the square underwent many changes and was embellished with important buildings: the Basilica di San Petronio, Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo dei Bianchi.
It was built where there once was just a grassy area. In 1200, the Municipality started purchasing houses and land to build a square that would homage the importance of the city and gather all city activities (commerce, trade and various kinds of services) at the same time.
Originally, the square came to be known as curia Communis or platea Communis and it was given its current name of Piazza Maggiore during the 16th century even though, between the expulsion of the Austrian army and 1944, it was named after the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II. So it was just after 1945 that the square and surrounding territory became officially known with the current name of Piazza Maggiore.