Public squares are one of the delights of vacationing in Europe. They reflect civic pride of place, and often host markets, public art and seasonal festivals. When the sun sets and the heat of the day dissipates, public squares are ideal for relaxing and people-watching. No matter how grueling you've made your vacation, remember to leave time for lingering, it's part of the whole deal.
See which squares PPS has deemed important throughout the world in Project for Public Spaces.
They missed one of my big favorites though, Plaza Major in Salamanca, Spain, a fabulous square whose paving stones are so clean that students plop down and play chess in the midst of strollers, jazz bands, and wandering tapas tasters.
Edited to add: Ethan Kent, Vice President of Project for Public Places, has written to inform us that Salamanca just missed being on the list of the top 16 squares. Indeed, PPS has detailed info on Salamanca's Plaza Mayor.