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Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy

by Dean Wickham on May 4, 2012

in Destinations, Europe, Featured, Italy

Piazza del Popolo is located at the end of Via del Corso, the straight road that runs through the center of Rome from Piazza Venezia at the base of Capitoline Hill, and stands at the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls (the walls that surrounded ancient Rome).

Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy

Entering Piazza del Popolo from Via del Corso

The history of the piazza stretches across several centuries, but the design of the current piazza dates back to the early 19th century.

In the very center of Piazza del Popolo is an Egyptian Obelisk of Sety I and Ramsese II, known as the Obelisco Flaminiothat was brought to Rome in 10BC. It is one of the largest and oldest obelisks in Rome. Originally, it stood in the Circus Maximus, but ended up in Piazza del Popolo by the late 16th century.

Surrounding the obelisk are four small 19th century fountains.

Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo in ROme, Italy

Obelisco Flaminio in Piazza del Popolo

Two larger fountains stand on each side of the piazza, both built in the 1820′s. Both have some beautiful sculpture artwork, the Fontana del Nettuno depicting a scene with Neptune and two dolphins, and the other to the Goddess Roma, that leads up to the Pincio where you can get great views of the piazza.

Fountain in Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy

Fountain to the Goddess Roma, with the Pincio behind it.

Surrounding the Piazza are three churches, one being the Santa Maria del Popolo. But perhaps the most beautiful feature of the piazza are the twin churches of Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, both built in the late 17th century and standing on either side of the start of Via del Corso.

Twin churches in Piazza del Popolo in Rome, italy

The twin churches with Via del Corso running between them

Outside of the piazza on the other side of the Porta del Popolo (the gate in the walls), there is a metro stop and you can easily catch the subway train to anywhere in the city.

We visited Piazza del Popolo in the morning before catching the metro straight to the Vatican City. There are some nice cafes located around the piazza, and this beautiful square can be enjoyed while sitting with a cappuccino or a glass of wine.

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Emme Rogers May 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Beautiful monuments!
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Dean Wickham May 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

They sure are :)
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John May 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

Nice photos! The piazza looks amazing – i love all the fountains and old architecture.
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Dean Wickham May 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

Thanks John. Some of my favourite spots in Rome and all of Italy for that matter are it’s amazing piazzas.
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