Piazza del Popolo (People’s Square)

The Piazza del Popolo (the People’s Square) is located inside the northern gate in the Aurelian walls, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, now called the Porta Popolo. The square is situated at the beginning of Via Flaminia, which was the main entrance to the city during the Roman Empire. The layout of the square was designed between 1811 and 1822 in neoclassical style by the architect Guiseppe Valadier. It is famous for the basilica Santa Maria del Popolo, which features two magnificent canvases by Caravaggio and splendid Renaissance decorations, and two other churches that look onto the square, Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto. An Egyptian obelisk dedicated to Ramesses II, called Flaminio Obelisk, stands in the center of the piazza. First erected in the Circus Maximus during the tenth century, it was transferred to Piazza del Popolo in 1589.

Once on the most important route to the north of Italy, Piazza del Popolo is still strategically located. Three important streets part from the square: to the left, Via del Babuino; to the right, Via di Ripetta and to the centre the Via del Corso, one of the main streets of Rome. Visitors can get an impressive view of the piazza by climbing the stairs to Pincio Park, located on the east side of the square.


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