In 1817, a covered market was built for the sale of meat, bread and vegetables, designed by the architect Giuseppe Gimma. The construction took place in an area in front of the port, just before the Porta della Marina quay (which was being demolished at the same time) and bordered the old town on one side and a new, expanding borough of the city on the other.
The Fish Market, as the older Meat Market, had an arcade of seven aisles in length and two in width. It was covered by a cross-vaulted ceiling and was closed by a wall on the sea side in order to protect the square from north-east and south-east winds, as well as the coastal surges which sometimes flooded the area, even reaching the food stalls. In the remaining space between the building and the area of the old quay, a triangular edifice was constructed with a stairway to allow for access to the roof of the market.
During the 19th century, the two southerly bays were converted to provide offices for the local police force.
In 1897 the building was damaged by a fire. During repair work, which started in 1900, the council technical department drew up a project to raise and extend another two bays northwards. This project was carried out at the same time as more general renovation work for the whole square and a realignment of the coastline with the building of new road access to the sea.
Work proceeded slowly and it was only in the later 1910s that the building acquired its current appearance, with nine bays on the longer façade and four on the northern side. One curious feature was that before the construction of the sea front, the building stood directly above the water to the east and partially so to the north.
In the post-second World War era, the area of Piazza del Ferrarese became a centre of debate and subject of various projects for its renovation; despite being one of the most important zones of the city, it was in a state of neglect. The Fish Market was restored by the Public Works Office in 1968, marked by a plaque on the north façade. This work maintained the use of the ground floor as a market, with council offices occupying the first floor