In the summer, when restaurant tables overflow onto the street, buskers perform in this lovely cobblestone area. It is a great spot to stop for lunch at any time of year. The Grey Brothers, a group of Franciscan monks, constructed the city’s first monastery here in 1238, giving the plaza and its name. Buildings in the area were damaged by the Great Fire of 1728, and British bombs again wreaked havoc on the plaza in 1807. Its current aspect is mostly a product of the early 19th century. Hippies flocked to the plaza in the late 1960s, congregating under the big tree in the middle. It now has a somewhat more relaxed vibe.

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