Piazza dei Contrari is located at the centre of the oldest part of Vignola known as, “Castelvecchio” and is surrounded by the Rocca (Fortress), Palazzo Contrari-Boncompagni and the Loggiato (arcade).
When the Contrari family took possession of the fiefdom of Vignola in the 15th Century, the Parochial Church, which was situated at the site of the present Loggiato, was moved to the present site of the church in order create space for the extensions made to the Rocca. The area around the arcade was most likely occupied by a smaller version which housed workshops and storehouses.
The second significant transformation took place in 1560, when Ercole Contrari il Vecchio requested that Palazzo Contrari-Boncompagni be built directly facing the Rocca. This meant that 11 houses had to be knocked down, a change that brought about the further encroachment of the piazza and radically transformed its appearance. This period also saw the construction of the large Loggiato which still characterises the piazza.
Today, the piazza is a point of reference for the people of the town and for tourists alike, a venue for events and shows, hosting the Etra Festival and the Poetry Festival. It is also a key point for cultural and naturalistic excursions throughout the year.