A piazza is not a pizza spelled wrong. I’m amazed at how many tourists I run into who mistakenly think that it is…You might be able to find a pizzeria in the piazza, but the two are in no way synonymous.
The piazza is the town square and the centre of Italian life. Many larger cities and towns have more than one piazza, and they can range in size from postage-stamp dimensions huddled between some old palazzi, or expansive and airy, with many shops, cafes, churches, and various other establishments lining the sides. If you’re lucky, your piazza might come equipped with a statue of an old, dead (but important) Italian figure, or even a fountain.
To reiterate, the piazza is usually the town or city’s hub. People gather here to socialize, do business, relax, chat, and most importantly, to see and be seen. The piazzas often fill up at night, with Italians doing the things they love best: eating, drinking and socializing.
A piazzale is a small piazza, but is essentially the same concept. In Italian, piazza is often abbreviated to P.zza or just P.za and street addresses are sometimes given as Piazza such-and-such, rather than Via such-and-such.
So put on your highest heels, your tightest jeans, and men, roll your shirtsleeves up to mid-forearm, and you’ll fit right in during the evening activities in the piazza.