Piazza della Loggia is fine example of Renaissance piazza. The construction of eponymous Palazzo della Loggia (current Town Hall) began in 1492 under the direction of Filippo de' Grassi and completed only in the 16th century by Sansovino and Palladio. Vanvitelli designed the upper room of the palace (1769).
On the south side of the square are two 15th–16th century Monti di Pietà (Christian lending houses). Their façades are embedded with ancient Roman tombstones, one of oldest antique lapidary displays in Italy. At the centre of the east side of the square stands a tower with a large astronomical clock (mid-16th-century) on top of which there are two copper anthropomorphic automata which strike the hours on a bell. On May 28, 1974, the square was targeted by the terrorist bombing.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.