With its many bistros and restaurants, Piazza della Riforma is the city’s main place of encounter.
Throughout the year several different events, including Easter in the City, Estival Jazz, Blues to Bop, Autumn Festival and Christmas in the Square, take place here. But in the past, when the square was called Piazza Grande, it was the scene of several political events. In fact, the 15th February 1798 was a chaotic day of fighting, at the end of which, despite initial success, the enemy was pushed back by the Lugano partisans. The most enlightened members of the bourgeois took advantage of events to finally achieve long-sought independence for the town, buoyed by the slogan “Free and Swiss”. At Zurich the twelve cantons proclaimed Canton Ticino’s independence and on 16 February the citizens erected the tree of liberty in Piazza Grande. In 1830, the square took on its current name thanks to the constitutional reform.
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