Piazza del Popolo is the main piazza in Ravenna.
The origin of the square goes back to the late 13th century, when the family Da Polenta became mistress of the city. The political center became the home of Bernardino da Polenta, that noble had built on the ruins of an ancient Palace built on the shore of Padenna, the River City. La Casa di Bernardino is not to be confused with the Domus Magna of the family Da Polenta, which was located a few hundred metres further south into what is now via g. Mazzini. Contextually, the piazza del Comune, widening the road overlooking the Manor House. On the South side of the square was built the Palace of the Rector of Romagna (1295). In 1544 he became Apostolic Palace, seat of the Bondage of Romagna. The piazza was embellished by the Venetians: in 1483 selciarono flooring also erected two granite columns, the top of which are Sant'Apollinare and San Vitale. Among them: the staircase (which dates back at least to 1411), the cone and the Vault (with frescoes of great value dating from the first half of the 16th century). The Palace of Bernardino da Polenta was replaced in 1681 by the Town Hall, known today by Ravenna as "Embattled Palace». Of the former patrician Palace survived, in addition to the pillars, only a few parts. In 1696 the Apostolic Palace was entirely rebuilt and enlarged by order of the cardinal legate Francesco Barberini. Always in Piazza del Popolo is the former headquarters of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro building, built by architect Camillo Morigia; is connected to the Palace of the Prefecture from a vault (the second of the square) from which you can admire the tomb of Dante, by the same architect. Are worth mentioning as well as other civic buildings such as the Palace of salt, which now houses the Bank Unicredit Rasponi, recently renovated. The façade was restored to new, significantly enhancing the aesthetics of the square.