After seeing (a few years ago) this square in the evening, I recently had the opportunity to visit it at lunchtime.
In both cases it appeared to me to be extremely enjoyable. The square is swarming with people walking, drinking, eating (sitting at the tables), chatting. An image that shows the crowd in its most pleasant side, and brings joy.
The urban and architectural framework is essential to allow this image of peace and well-being. The large square is quadrangular, thus denouncing the fact that it was conceived in a unitary way, as it was included in the city enlargement connected to the construction of the second circle of walls (mid-thirteenth century). As part of this expansion, the square was intended to house the market; and in fact it is also remembered as "Piazza del Mercato Nuovo".
The square (now completely pedestrian) is also elegantly paved, embellished in its center by the sixteenth-century fountain by Giovanni da Udine and by a fifteenth-century column. On the four sides of the square, decent buildings, some of which retain the original frescoed facades, follow one another, interrupted only by the streets leading to the square, and by the elegant San Giacomo church, built, in Lombard Renaissance style, in 1525 - restrcturing a chapel of the fourteenth century - by Bernardino da Morcote: the same architect - coming from this small village in Italian Switzerland - to whom we also owe the nearby Portico di San Giovanni.
I can hardly believe that - as some web sources report - in the last decades of the XXth century this square was considered a disreputable place. Today in my opinion it is the most pleasant place in the city.