The square is situated between the San Rocco block and the Public Gardens and is composed by two squares: Piazza Martiri del 7 luglio and Piazza della Vittoria The Valli theatre, the Ariosto theatre, Cavallerizza theatre, the Carmi Palace and S. Francesco church face this area
The square occupies the area "the Cittadella" was situated. The historic, town-planning, arhcitectonic development has modified, as time went by the economic and social of this town area.
On Tuesdays and Fridays the market takes place here and during the year the square is used for several winter and summer events.
The wide Piazza Martiri del 7 luglio square is dominated by the impressive Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre.
Aerial view of the theater built from a project by architect Cesare Costa and engineer Antonio Tegani, 1852-57
To the right you can see the antique style building of the Bank of Italy, built in 1929 after the old Chiesa di San Giacomo (Church of Saint James) was demolished, to the left the impressive Isolato San Rocco (Saint Rocco Block), built in 1953-54, an example of urban planning and the eagerness to rebuilt after the war.
Palace of the Bank of Italy
In fact, to build the block, the old Trinity arcades, which were built in 1542 and completed in 1817 by Domenico Marchelli and the Church of Saint Rocco overlooking the road of the same name, were demolished.
To the left of the Municipal theatre you can find the Public Gardens, the main green zone of the city's historical centre, created in the second half of the nineteenth century in the area of the Ancient Citadel (after the Palazzo di Cittadella and the Church of Saint Nazario were demolished).
View of the park
The "Antico Foro Boario" (commonly known as the ex Zucchi barracks as it was last used as military barracks) overlooks the Public Gardens. The building is now a branch of the University of Reggio Emilia and is used to hold lessons. The building was built in the area of the eighteenth century monastery of Saint Clara between the years 1845 and 1853 by the architect Pietro Marchelli to house the city's "Foro Boario".
The second Theatre of the city, the Ariosto Theatre, also stands on Viale Allegri: built in 1740 according to a project by Antonio Cugini and then renovated in 1839 by Pietro Marchelli who opened the arcade on the main facade. After a fire, which destroyed the interior, various work was carried out on the Theatre, the last of which in 1927, by the architect Guido Tirelli (on this occasion the painter Anselmo Govi painted the dome and the curtain).
View from the house seats
Anselmo Govi, Dome depicting episodes from Orlando Enraged, 1927
In Corso Cairoli you can find the bizarre building in Gothic-Renaissance style which is the home of the Parmeggiani Gallery, built by Luigi Parmeggiani in 1934, characterized by a singular gold plated spire which is a familiar silhouette on the city's skyline.
The eclectic style of the Parmeggiani Gallery. Work of engineer Ascanio Ferrari, early 20th century
Returning to the wide Piazza della Vittoria (Victory square), you will note the impressive First World War Memorial, a work by Alberto Bazzoni (1927) from Parma, while on the opposite side of the square from the Ariosto Theatre, to the left of the Municipal Theatre, you can see the Monument to the Resistance, a work done by Romeo Brioschi (1958) from Milan.
To the east the Hall of the Municipal Museums closes the square. Formerly Palazzo dell'Imperatore (The Emperor's Palace), the building was then transformed into a convent, part of the nearbychiesa di San Francesco (church of Saint Francis).
Church of St. Francis