Piazza Grande is located in the centre of Livorno and wows with its size. Prior to the Second World War, it was even larger than it is now: it was damaged heavily by bombing and rebuilt on a smaller scale.
The piazza was designed around 1594 due to a collaboration among various architects, including Buontalenti, and it sought inspiration from Inigo Jones, the leading English Renaissance architect, whose plans for Covent Garden, the first square in London to be regularly shaped.
The Cathedral stands in the middle of the piazza. Named after Saint Francis, it was built between 1594 and 1606 according to plans by architects Pieroni and Cantagallina.
The facade features a portico with pointed arches and two smaller porticos in front of the transept, while the interior houses several artworks that survived the bombings, including the Holy Family with Saints John and Paul by the workshop of Andrea Del Sarto and Christ Crowned with Thorns by Beato Angelico.
Palazzo Grande stands in front of the Cathedral, rebuilt in its entirety after the war. All the buildings in this square of Livorno have porticoed spaces as originally planned by Alessandro Pieroni.