This large square is a crossroad of three streets very important for shopping and make up the so-called trident (via del babuino, via del Corso and via di Ripetta).
The splendid setting of this place is featured by the huge egiptian obelisk wich dominates the scene just in the middle of the square and the twin churches located beside the three streets I've mentioned. Piazza del Popolo is popular also to be a typical meeting point for the roman people for socializing or when the want to celebrate some important national victory in some sports (expecially football!)
(popolo=people, but in this case Popolo derives from pioppo=poplar) - Either way, everyone loves this huge Piazza so we can say it is popular with the people - Romans and tourists. This looks like an aerial view but it was taken on Easter Sunday 2006 from a vantage point at Villa Borghese overlooking the Piazza. The photos will be updated when work on the obelisk is complete.
A bit of background that I found - In 1816 Giuseppe Valadier redesigned Piazza del Popolo and the Pincio (the hill overlooking Piazza del Popolo) for Pius VII. At the center of the square the obelisk was placed here in 1589 by Domenico Fontana as part of the urban plan of Sixtus V. It was originally erected in Heliopolis and it was brought to Rome and placed in the Circus Maximus by Augustus. It is dedicated to Rameses II and is topped by the mountains and the star of Sixtus V.
This first view shows her obelisk properly clothed on Easter Sunday as she undergoes her facelift. In the second view from within the Piazza you will note Valadier designed two hemicycles (semi-circles) (here the side towards the Pincio) around the obelisk to which he added fountains and Egyptian lions. Detail of the obelisk is shown in photo 3. The statues of the four seasons (below Summer) are located at the beginning of the streets going up to the Tiber or the Pincio. Two large marble groups are at the center of each hemicycle. In the 4th photo you can see a detail of Neptune between two tritons, a typical Baroque theme developed in neoclassical style. The inner side of Porta del Popolo (photo 5) celebrates the entry into Rome of Queen Christina of Sweden in 1655, but the decoration (by Bernini) is actually a celebration of Alexander VII, whose coat of arms had six mountains and a star. However in the festoon he united the oak branches of Alexander VII with the ears of wheat of the Vasa (or Wasa), the Swedish royal family.
Photo and reference text by permission Robert Piperno to be used for non-commercial purpose only.
This is a large, open, almost empty square, redesigned in 1816, and contains one of Rome's many obelisks, this one of Ramese II (which when we were there was sadly covered for renovation). It's a pleasant place, and seems less popular (no pun intended!) than many of the other squares; it wasn't crowded at all.
The paving of the square was allegedly paid for by taxes levied on prostitution, and the piazza was once a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826. There are three fine churches around the square, and fountains around the base of the obelisk as well as to the east and west of the square. There is also the Porta del Popolo, the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of Ancient Rome. It was reconstructed to it's current appearance by Pope Alexander VII in 1655.
This big piazza was built in the begining of cent XVI in the convergence of 3 street: Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso and Via del Babuino. It was retouched by Guiseppe Valadier in 1823. Carlo Rainaldi designed here the churches of Santa Maria del Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto, well know as the twin.
Esta gran plaza fue construida a comienzos del siglo XVI en la convergencia de 3 calles: Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso y Via del Babuino. Fue retocada por Guiseppe Valadier en 1823. Carlo RAinaldi diseno aqui las iglesias de Santa Maria del Miracoli y Santa Maria in Montesanto, tambien conocidas como las iglesias gemelas.
According to legend, the ashes of Nero were enshrined in Piazza del Popolo until 11th-century residents began complaining to the pope about his imperial ghost. The piazza was designed in the early 19th century by Valadier, Napoleon's architect. It's a nice spot to stop and watch Rome go by.
The Egyptian obelisk you can see in the middle of the photo dates from the 13th century BCE and was removed from Heliopolis to Rome during Augustus's reign (it stood at the Circus Maximus). The lovely church, Santa Maria del Popolo, with two Caravaggios, is at its northern curve, and opposite are almost-twin baroque churches, overseeing the never-ending traffic.
The twin churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto were built in the 17th century by the architect Carlo Rainaldi who was given the task of creating symmetrical churches at Piazza del Popolo on lots of different sizes and shapes. He overcame the challenge by designing the twin domed churches, which appear symmetrical to the eye, yet one is oval and the other round.
Piazza del Popole was the first place that I see in Rome. This piazza starts with a wonderful gate (see additional pictures). Piazza del Popolo is very big and generally not crowded. From here starts the famous Via Veneto (see additional pictures), which goes straight south to Piazza Venezia and Vittoriano. Via Veneto is a shopping paradise. It was my first walk-trough Rome. In the center of Piazza del Popolo there is another (of the hundreds in Rome) obelisk, which was brought to Roma by Emperor Augustus in the 15th century. I considered Piazza del Popolo a good starting point in visiting Rome. Maybe you will start your visit here too :)
The design of the former entry to the city of Rome, now the shopping street Via del Corso, is enhanced by the two twins churches on each side of the beginning of this street. These are Santa Maria dei Miracoli (St.Mary of Miracles) and Santa Maria di Montesanto (St.Mary of the saint mount). While Santa Maria dei Miracoli was finished in 1597, its twin sister Santa Maria di Montesanto was not finished until 1675.
This is a nice area to visit not only for the shops. There are fountains where you can take pictures with lions or see an Egyptian obelisk. On this particular day, I was able to see La Luna Rossa before it makes its way to compete in the American Cup.
It’s one of the most characteristic areas of neoclassical Rome. On the square there are statues of the Four Seasons, while the center is emphasized by the two fountains, Neptune and the Tritons and Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene River.
Every one writes about the amount of walking you do in Rome - Via del Corso is one of the longest thoroughfares - time to dip your feet in the cooling waters of the fontana either side of Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo, with its main gate, it's the first thing that people from the north would see coming from the north with riding their horses. When you're walking in the middle of it you feel the king of he world, you have two twin (fake twins, one is a little bit bigger) churches in front, the Pincio terrace on your left and three of the most important streets of the world to choose between. An advice? Walk up to the Pincio terrace and remain astonished by the sightseen!
I came here in the early evening and found it to be an enchanting place - it was somewhat quiet and all the crowds seemed to have headed into restaurants or back to hotels. I was impressed at the architecture and spent some time just looking up, down and all around the place!
The via Flaminia, built in 220 BC to connect Rome with Italy’s Adriatic coast, enters the city at Porta del Popolo, a grand 16th-century gate built on the orders of Pope Pius IV Medici. The architect, Nanni di Baccio Bigio, modeled it on a Roman triumphal arch. The outer face has statues of St Peter and St Paul on either side of the arch, a huge Medici coat of arms above and columns which come form the ancient constantinian basilica of St Paul.
This is a fabulous Piazza, but it needs a new centrepiece. The Obelisk was stolen from the Temple of Karnak, and they would like it back. Another Obelisk stolen from Karnak is in Place de la Concord in Paris. They want that one back too.
It was the practice of the time to steal treasures from all over the world (but especially Greece and Egypt) but it sould now be the practice of our time to return such treasures.