Piazza del Popolo forms a grand symmetrical antechamber to the heart of Rome. Twin Neo-Classical facades stand on either side of the Porta del Popolo; an Egyptian obelisk rises in the centre; and the twin churches of S.Maria dei Miracoli and S.Maria di Montesano flank the beginning of via del Corso.
Piazza del Popolo is a magical square and a great place to meet. In the middle is a large fountain which is a good place to sit, eat your lunch and admire the view.
What is so wonderfully impressive are the two (almost) identical Renaissance churches, placed either side of the entrance to the square. Both dedicated to Santa Maria. They make a beautiful photo or (as you can see) a good subject to sketch.
Between the churches runs Via del Corso, Rome's main shopping street - my favorite. Dead straight, a product of early C16th urban replanning. Full of expensive shops, shoppers and shoppers' cafe's.
On the north side of the square is a third, smaller church of Santa Maria. Worth a look for its artworks.
Piazza del Popolo is a large piazza that was originally the site of festivals and public executions.
It is home to four Egyptian-style lion fountains and one of Rome's oldest Obelisks. At one end of the square there are 2 symmetrical churches.
It is located close to the Villa Borghese and not far from Piazza di Spagna.
We wandered up here for a look and were impressed by the Piazza's spaciousness and variety of features.
The place with the Egyptian obelisk, nice fountains and few nice Churches like the Church Santa Maria del Popolo where you can see two great paintings of Carravagio.
There are also two churches called Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Monte Santo which close the street Via del Corso.
The gate on this square was designed by Michael Angelo.
In 1658 ,' pope Alexander VII' ordered the design
for these two churches.'Carlo Rainaldi'
was the chosen one. He had to be creative.
The pope wanted an harmonious square
with two churches.
the 'Santa Maria in Monsanto' on the left and
on the other side of the via del Corso the
'santa Maria in Montesanto'.
But the surface for both churches wasn't the
same. The space for the 'Santa maria in
Montesanto' was smaller then for the other
church. That is why one on the left has an
oval dome and the 'Santa Maria dei Miracoli'
has a round one.
If you have ver been in Rome you know there
are a lot of 'obelisks' decorating the squares.
Well if you rule the world you can take whatever
you want with you? True or false.
The one on 'Piazza del Popolo' comes from
Heliopolis where 'Seti I and Ramses II' had
placed it in front of the temple of the sun.
We are talking 1200 years before our calender
'Augustus 'still neede some decoration for his
'Circus Maximus.' After the emperor it was the
pope who had an eye on this obelisk and in
1589 'Sictus V'b placed it on the Piazza del Popolo.
On our first day, wandering through Rome (Lorelei Gilmore-style) we came to the Piazzo del Popolo. Some great architecture, and an interesting story behind the twin churches. In one of them we heard a lovely guitar soloist (the music was lovely, not the soloist himself.)
The Vatican museum was amazing. The sistine chapel itself was incredible, but the art will take your breath away. What more can I say. It was the highlight of our trip. The line to get in can be long so go early.
The southern end of the square marks the start of three major streets: V.d. Corso, which runs to P. Venezia; V.d. Ripetta on the right, built by Leo X for service to the Vatican; and V.d. Babuino on the left. Outside the Porta del Popolo (Bernini designed its southern facade) is an entrance to the Villa Borghese.
The church of Santa Maria del Popolo with its many works of Caravaggio, the twin baroque churches and the obelisque of RamsesII all contribute to the beauty and importance of this square.
However, this square has a more sinister past funtioning as a theatre for public executions in the 18° and 19° centuries
Just sit in the sun, under the obelisque you find in the middle of the square, and look around...it would be interesting!
The "twin" churches the Santa Maria dei Miracoli (right) and the Santa Maria in Montesanto (left) are located in the Piazza del Popolo. One is actually a bit smaller than the other. Also located here is a large Egyptian obelisk.
A big beautiful square located in the heart of Rome!
One of the younger gates into the centre of Rome is the Porta del Popola. The road under it is the Via Flaminia, made in 220 to connect Rome with the sea. The gate is 16th century, designed by Nanni di Baccio Bigio.
At the piazza del Popolo you will find two simular churches. It are the Santa Maria dei Miracoli (right) and the Santa Maria in Montesanto (left).
Both churches were designed by Carlo Reinaldi (1611-1691). Both plots were not equal in size, but he just made a round dome at the right church and an oval one at the left church. That solved the problem.
The obelisk in the middle of the piazza was taken from Egypt by emperor Augustus, he placed it at the Circus Maximus. In 1589 the pope had it placed at this piazza. A century later another pope ordered the two twin churches to be built.(see next tip) And in the 19th century the architect of Pincio gardens altered the piazza and it became the oval you see today.
In the 18th and 19th century the piazza was used for executions.
Nothing of this can be found here now.
This is one of the most beautiful piazzas in Rome and the effect of the twin churches is amazing. My guide mentioned that the two baroque churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto are not exactly alike, but they do look alike on a first sight and the impression one gets is of something unforgettable. The piazza was created by Latino Giovenale Manetti in 1538 for Pope Paul III and the twin churches were added in the 17th century. The present symmetry was given by the neoclassical architect Giuseppe Valadier in the early 1800's. In the middle of the square lies a 3000 years old obelisk framed by four small fountains with lions. The piazza is closed to automotive traffic so you can stroll at your own pace and enjoy the sights.
This is a huge square with twin churches in the entrance of the square.
You can not imagine how many people there were on the 31st December at night! People drink and then throw all botles to the floor: imagine walking on glass!