The piazza occupies the ancient site of the Roman Forum and for centuries has been the financial and political centre of the city. It is surrounded by old houses and towers and the central area, the "toloneo", is today occupied by the characteristic umbrellas of the daily market. Along the centre are the "colonna del mercato" (Market Column) from 1401, the berlina (the 16th century marble shrine used for the investiture of citizens elected for public duty - podestà or signori), the Madonna Verona fountain with its roman statue and the 1523 colonna di San.Marco (San Marco's Column).
On the left of the piazza is the 14th century Casa dei Mercanti (Merchants' house) with mullioned windows and crenellations. At the end of the piazza are the 1370 Torre del Gardello (Gardello Tower) and the baroque palazzo Maffe and on the right the 14-16th century Mazzanti houses (decorated with fifteenth century frescoes) and the 1470 Costa Arch, so called due to the whale rib that hangs from it, and though which one enters the Piazza dei Signori.