In many respects this is the emblematic center of the city. It’s a crowded place by day with visitors gawking at the architecture and copies of Renaissance sculptures, most notably Michelangelo’s David (the original was moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia in 1873), and locals striding through, sometimes stopping at the surrounding, historic bars and cafes. The imposing Palazzo Vecchio sits on the east side.
At night, it’s only fractionally more peaceful and there’s often live music which frequently leads to spontaneous dancing. This is prime passeggiata territory (the stately, familial evening walk).
Caffè Rivoire, arguably the city’s most famous cafe, is on the west side. (See the individual entry.)
At the center stands an equestrian statue of Cosimo I.