Piazza delle Oche - Rovereto

Piazza Battisti, also known as Piazza delle Oche as a result of the stone swans that used to adorn the fountain and were commonly referred to as ‘oche’ (geese), is where the old and new cities meet.
At the centre is the Fountain of Neptune, by the sculptor Domenico Molin from Val Badia, which dates back to 1736. The houses surrounding the piazza, of different heights and styles, give this corner of the city unique grace. On the left, between recently refurbished buildings, the Baroque Casa Lenner stands out, decorated by a Madonna (‘della Stella’) in a stucco frame. On Casa Zanini, in the right-hand corner leading off into Via Orefici, there was once a big electric clock shaped like a drum, which people referred to as ‘the tamburom del Peterschütz’, after the Austrian horologist who placed it there above his shop.
Next to Casa Lenner was once the ‘Caffè e bigliardo al Commercio’, an important meeting place for students, workers and middle classes of Rovereto. This cafe, as stated by sociologist Jurgen Habermas in his famous work ‘Storia e critica dell’opinione pubblica’, played a vital role in the development of the ‘rational reasoning of the public’ which, starting from the 18th century, led the emerging middle class to free themselves from the power of the aristocracy, accelerating the birth of democratic institutions.


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