In medieval times it was known as piassa de’ Porci, located in a very lively neighbourhood, the the tabernemaggiori, but it did not have the current appearance. The name perhaps derives from the presence of a (meat?) market, also testified by a well now partially visible in the southwest corner of the portico. The Pisan markets were organized in different squares according to the merchandise, but with the transfer of the wheatsquarefrom its historical position to make it possible the construction of the Sapienza, the shops were moved to this space, redesigned in the manner of the Florentine arcades: an irregular quadrilateral, with a double arched loggia, supported by sandstone columns. From the eighteenth century, the square took thename of Vettovaglie, from the sale of various foods, and it was equipped with a fountain. The marble panel with the units of measurement for the sale of products is still visible under the southern loggia. Today, the square is the centre of the university's nightlife.The square was the set of some scenes from Paolo Virzì's Ovosodo (Hardboiled egg) (1997). The film is mainly set in Livorno, but some scenes were shot in Pisa, in Piazza delle Vettovaglie, where a party takes place and is the meeting point between the two protagonists, played by Marco Cocci and Edoardo Gabriellini.