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Friday 9 December 2016, San Siro
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Piazza Brà

Historical Notes. The Bra’ (from the German "breit", meaning "broad") began to be defined as a square only around mid sixteenth century, when Michele Sammicheli built the Palace of the Honours and gave a correct perspective to the Arena, limiting the perimeter of the future square towards the west. Another contribution was made by construction of the Palace of the Grand Guard, which defines the southern limit of the area. After paving of the area, which was finished in 1782, the Brà became the preferred place for a vespers stroll, instead of Lord’s Square. Around mid XII century, it was used for the wood, hay, straw and livestock market, to the extent that ancient documents often refer to the Brà as the “livestock market”. The traditional fair of Saint Lucy survives as a remnant of the ancient custom of holding a fair in Piazza Brà. This recurrence takes place each year between the 11th and 13th of December.

Monuments. See the respective analytical cards for the Arena and Lapidary Museum

Palazzo Barbieri – Alongside the Arena, on the eastern side of the square, the neoclassical City Hall rises, which was built in the nineteenth century by architect Giuseppe Barbieri. It has been the seat of the municipal government since 12 October 1869. In 1945, the interior of the City Hall was destroyed by a fire; when it was rebuilt, the rear portion and semi-circular wing were added.
Grand Guard – Began in the XVII century on a design by Domenico Curtoni, the Grand Guard is an imposing building, whose stone stair access leads to the deep and grandiose portico, which is supported by twelve pillars with full centre arches. The noble floor aligns five great central arched windows.
Palaces on the Listòn – According to the design by architect M. Castellazzi, Ottolini Palace, was built in the Sammichelian style. It is on the corner of Via Roma, near the Guglienzi-Brognoligo Palace, which is in the Renaissance style of the fifteenth century. The beginning of the sixteenth century is represented by nearby Fracasso-Gianfilippi Palace, which has a fresco attributed to Caroto on its façade. Number 16 is Guastaverza Palace (or the Palace of Honours) built in the mid sixteenth century according to a design by Sammicheli.

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