The ancient Piazza Maggiore: this is how the current Piazza Mazzini was historically named, on which the most significant buildings of ducal, civil and religious power stand out.
The arcades that characterize it on the north, south and west sides give it a great deal of severity and lead to a very diversified range of buildings. On the west side stands the compact volume of the Palazzo Ducale in front of which stands the statue of Ferrante I Gonzaga. Of a fine workmanship, this bronze sculpture was made by Leone Leoni, court artist of the Emperor of Spain Carlo V. The Gonzaga, first of the illustrious family in the city, is depicted in the act of trampling a satyr, a symbol of vice, and a beheaded hydra depicting envy and slander. It was his son Cesare who commissioned the statue, which was then placed where it is now in 1594.