The Amphitheatre square was reconstructed between the 1830 and 1839 by Lorenzo Nottolini, a prominent architect and urbanist working for the Borbons. The work resulted in an integrated square basing on the old structure of closed Roman amphitheatre - maintaining its disposition, closed elliptical form, the number of entrances, and the motive of a continuous arc - the characteristic elements of the Romanesque architecture.
Representing "the heart of Lucca" ever since the Roman times, the square also contains the Church of San Michele, and the Mayor's palace (nowadays known as Praetorio palace). Since ancient times it acted as a market square - mostly for the grain trade - and other similar activities. The legislation of ancient Lucca cared very much about the square's appearance - up to the point of prohibiting swine presence. Today this is one of the most beautiful squares of Lucca - and, like all the others, it is surrounded by various historical buildings.
More known as the Grand Square (Piazza Grande), of all the squares of Lucca this one was historically acting as the centre of city's political power. The design and construction of the square - as it looks now- was assigned in 1806 by Elisa Bonaparte and Felice Baciocchi to the architects Theodore Bienaimè and Giovanni Lazzarini.
The project was designed in such a way that the Government palace would be facing the adjacent rectangular area, being confined on one side by the palace's building, and surrounded by benches and sycamore trees from 3 other sides. In the centre of the square there is a statue of Maria Luisa di Borbone, ceded to the Baiocchi.
The creation of the Anteminelli square (Piazza Antelminelli) was assigned at the beginning of the 1300 century by the Antelimelli family. Confining on one side by the southern facade of the St Martin's Cathedral (Duomo di San Martino), and on other sides - by quincentenary palaces, the square as it looks today lost many of its original elements of the 1300. One of the most characteristic elements of the square's neoclassical style is the fountain in its centre, designed by the architect Lorenzo Nottolini in 1832-1835.
A typical square of Lucca, characterized by various traits inherited from the city's past - like that of a typical urbanistic layout of a Roman settlement. The square of St Martin acts as a sort of axis for a series of 3 squares: San Giovanni square in the west, and the Antelminelli square in the north - which are architecturally connected in such a way as to increase the scenery and panorama possibilities.
The square is situated near the Napoleon square, and contains the eponymous church. Nowadays it is mostly used for the exposition of the antique's market of Lucca, taking place every last weekend of the month.
In ancient days known as "hillside square", it bears the name of the family of Lucca's merchants that lived here. In the centre of the square one can see the monument of Giacomo Puccini, one of the most famous artists of Lucca.
The square bears the name of the palace of Bernardini, dating back to the year 1550. The family of Bernardini was one of the most influential in Lucca, and commissioned the creation of the eponymous palace to the architect Matteo Civitali.