At the beginning Via dei Mercanti was a square-shaped square, enclosed by walls with six gateways connected to different parts of the city. Nowadays we can only see two of them: the “New or Ferrea”, in the passage of Santa Margherita and the “Vercellina” towards Via Orefici. The remaining four gateways were called: Porta del Podestà (towards Porta Romana), Ticinese, Cumana or Cordusio, Porta dei Pesci or Sant’Ambrogio (towards Porta Venezia).
On the side of via Orefici, in front of the Palazzo della Ragione, you can see Loggia degli Osii, where the edicts were read to the population. Between 1867 and 1877 the square underwent an incisive architectural transformation and it became Via dei Mercanti that connects Piazza del Duomo to Piazza Cordusio and Via Dante. Via dei Mercanti is 200 metres long: on one side you can see the majestic Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, a Congress Centre of Milan and on the opposite side Palazzo della Ragione.