Piazza Dante, now restored reproducing the nineteenth-century appearance, is the main square of the historic center of Grosseto. Over time the square has had different paved and planimetric settings. The occasion of the overall renovation of the square is linked to the erection of the monument to Leopold II of Lorraine called Canapone (1846) in a central position.
The sculptural group, the greatest work of Luigi Magi (1804-1871), represents in a transparent symbolic form the positive effects of the grand-ducal policy on the Maremma and the gratitude of its inhabitants. The Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine, dressed in a toga, raised in fact a woman, the Maremma, who holds a dead or dying child, the past, while another child, the present, clings confidently to the Grand Duke who tramples the snake of malaria. The group is completed by the griffin, emblem of the city community, which firmly bites the snake. The classic history of the Maremma is adorned with a laurel wreath on the woman’s head. On the base is the inscription:
TO THE GLORY OF LEOPOLD II
TO REMIND THE FUTURE
OF A REGENERATED PROVINCE
AND THE IMMORTAL BENEFIZIO.
This is the monument strongly wanted by the people of Grosseto to remember the great work that the Grand Duke wanted to face during his government.