Piazza Martiri della Libertà
The square was inaugurated in1833; it was built by will of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, to a design by the architect Alessandro Gherardesca. The almost perfectly rectangular space was planned according to the new requirements of town planning and the tastes of the Restoration.
At the centre of a ring of trees, a statue of Pietro Leopoldo I, made in 1829 by L. Pampaloni, stands on a tall marble plinth decorated in low relief by E. Santarelli,.
The square is in a part of the city of great historical interest. In the middle ages it was known as civitate vetera because of the many Roman ruins here. There are several interesting buildings along its sides. Along the westernside is the medieval building of the ex S. Anna convent, today occupied by the Scuola Superiore di Perfezionamento; to the west is the 13th century church of S. Caterina in front of which is a square where several buildings were demolished in the middle ages to make way for a cemetery. Also on the eastern side is the small Compagnia del Crocioneoratory, suppressed in 1782 and now an auditorium and theatre.
From the end of the 11thcentury much of the centre of the square was occupied by the Church of S. Lorenzo alla Rivolta with annexed hospital and monastery and the palazzo of count Neri di Donoratico,demolished at the end of the 14th century.
The Grand Duke ceded the S. Lorenzo buildings to the town of Pisa in 1815, on condition they wouldbe demolished and a square built in their place. It took nearly fifteen years to approve a plan; in the meantime the open space was used for breaking in horses, and, to the great indignation of the population, by washerwomen to hang out washing, .