In medieval times this was a large orchard to the south of the Monastic Complex of Santa Giulia. From 1173 it was the only square in the city which was permitted to hold a market and was called "Piazza del Mercato Nuovo" (New Market Square). Subsequently new buildings for small businesspeople and craftsmen were constructed in the area.
During the following centuries the function of the square changed and the buildings overlooking it, such as the splendid Palazzo Cigola (nowadays Fenaroli), were built for the aristocratic families. Both façades of this building are of similar style, although they were built in different centuries. The XVIth-century wing of the building, which has a portal with imposing telamons supporting a richlydecorated stone balcony, looks onto Via Carlo Cattaneo: the other wing, built the following century, faces onto the square.
A little further on, Palazzo Luzzago at 51, Via Cattaneo, built in the middle of the XVIIth century, deserves to be seen.
Nearby, the XVIIIth century Palazzo Suardi at 39, Via Trieste, was designed by the architect Antonio Turbino. On the other side of the street, opposite its elegant portal, there is a small garden with a statue of Neptune.