Piazza del Popolo, Rome

4.5 out of 5 stars 95 Reviews

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  • Lady peeing in the bushes(!) at the Pincio Gardens
    Lady peeing in the bushes(!) at the...
    by Jefie
  • View of the piazza's twin churches and obelisk
    View of the piazza's twin churches and...
    by Jefie
  • View of Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio Gardens
    View of Piazza del Popolo from the...
    by Jefie

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  • Andraf's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by Andraf Updated Jan 25, 2004

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    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.

    Address: Piazza del Popolo

    Piazza del Popolo, Rome

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  • Paisleypaul's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by Paisleypaul Written Jul 18, 2005

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    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

    Address: Piazza del Popolo - atop Via del Corso

    Looking East from the Piazza - look up..... Piazza del Popolo shot from high point of snap #1
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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by GentleSpirit Written Jan 27, 2013

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    This was right by my hotel, so i got a chance to see this when i was brand new in Rome.

    This was once the terminus of the road from Rome north, the Via Flaminia. For a long time this was the first place a visitor would see in Rome. It is a very large and attractive square.

    At its center is the Egyptian obelisk of Seti. This was taken from the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis and brought to Rome in 10 BC. The obelisk is 24 meters tall and is one of the oldest and tallest in Rome. Originally it was installed in the circus maximus to commemorate the conquest of Egypt. It was moved to its present location in the 16h century.

    In my photo you will see the door behind the obelisk is the Porta del Popolo. This is actually farther away, but it was the terminus of the Via Flaminia, the road north.

    Piazza del Popolo
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  • oneonta_ni's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by oneonta_ni Written Oct 1, 2003

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    This is one of our favourite places to visit, especially in the evenings. It is a gathering place for Romans and visitors alike and I prefer it to the crowds on the Spanish Steps.

    Above the Piazza is a walkway to the Pincio Terrace where you can get a fabulous view of the city - even more spectacular at night.

    View of Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio Terrace

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  • janchan's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by janchan Updated Jun 4, 2003

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    This square is another of the wonders of Rome. Here starts Via del Corso, one of the most important streets of the city that leads to Piazza Venezia. The twin churches of "Santa Maria in Montesanto" and "Santa Maria dei Miracoli", the XV century Santa Maria del Popolo, the second highest egyptian obelisk in Rome, are some of the masterpieces of this amazing square.

    During all the year it is often the scenery for great open air concerts... very popular is the one held on new year's eve.

    Directions: By metro... line A at "Flaminio" stop.

    The twin churches of Piazza del Popolo
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  • monica71's Profile Photo

    The old gate to the city

    by monica71 Updated Feb 14, 2009

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    Piazza del Popolo... I guess almost European country has one and Rome is no exception to the rule. The name means "the square of the people", but it is believed that in fact the piazza was named after the poplar trees that we can see on the NE side of the piazza.

    The Roman Piazza del Popolo is the ancient entrance to the city. It was a small piazza that went through a face lift in 1480 when Pope Sixtus IV decided to change its appearance and transform it into the large and impressive piazza we see today.

    The piazza is very close to the Spanish Steps, therefore you may want to add it to your itinerary on the day you visit the Spanish Steps.

    Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo a short stop in Piazza del Popolo Santa Maria dei Miracoli church in the piazza
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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    S. Maria dei Miracoli & S. Maria in Montesanto

    by MM212 Written Apr 6, 2006

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    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.

    Address: Piazza del Popolo

    Piazza del Popolo The Twin Churches of Piazza del Popolo Overlooking Piazza del Popolo
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  • tompt's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by tompt Updated Feb 5, 2004

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    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.

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  • tompt's Profile Photo

    twin churches

    by tompt Written Feb 5, 2004

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    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.

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  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo: Pincio gardens

    by martin_nl Updated Jun 1, 2003

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    On the northern side of the Piazza del Popolo you will find some stairs leading you to the Pincio gardens. There are many trees plnated here so from a distance it is hard to believe there are actually stairs there. Behind the Pincio gardens you will find the Villa Borghese gardens.

    Address: Piazza del Popolo

    Fountain on Piazza del Popolo & the Pincio gardens
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  • J_Antunes's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by J_Antunes Written Jun 28, 2009

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    This square is probably one of the most beautiful of Rome a city full of beautiful squares. Its name translates as the square of the people although its origin comes from poplars.
    The square was the place of the city gates of the Aurelian walls (built in III AC to protect the city from barbarians) and the place where one of the main routes of the city, towards the north started. It was the first image of the city and a place where, until the middle of the XIX century, public executions took place.
    Starting in this square there is the Pincian Hill a public park, a hill called by the romans the hill of gardens due to the several gardens and villas that existed in this place and the name is from one of the local families of that time. The today desing comes from the beginning of the XIX century.
    In the square there is also a church that dates back to the XI century and dedicated to Our Lady. The place was believed to be haunted by the ghost of Nero.
    The look of the plaza today has a neoclassical style dating back to XIX century and designed by Valadier. In the centre of the square there is an Egyptian obelisk of Rameses II from Heliopolis

    Address: Piazza del Popolo

    Directions: Flaminio subway is really close to the piazza. It is located in the north part of the city.

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  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by brendareed Written Jun 2, 2014

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    In ancient Rome (and in the comparatively not too distant past before automobiles, trains, and planes), visitors to the city typically entered from the north, through the northern gate called Porta Flaminia after traveling down the Via Flaminia. Today visitors most likely see this gate by walking from within the city, having already arrived by some form of modern transportation.

    Next to the Porta del Popolo (which is the new name for the Porta Flaminia) is the wide open pedestrian area called the Piazza del Popolo, which means “People’s Square” but historically refers to the poplar trees that grew in the area and influenced the name of the famous church on the piazza – Santa Maria del Popolo.

    In the very center of this oval shaped piazza is an Egyptian obelisk, one of the tallest in Rome at nearly 79 feet high, that dates back to pharaoh Seti I and Ramses II (1400-1300 BC). Its inscriptions extol the glory of the two pharoahs. Augustus brought the obelisk to Rome in 10 BC after the conquest of Egypt; it was originally set up in the Circus Maximus until it was moved to the Piazza del Popolo in 1589 by the same architect that moved another obelisk to St. Peter’s Square under the direction of Pope Sixtus V. The base of the obelisk has fountains with Egyptian looking lions carved in stone.

    The piazza forms the joint of the Tridente – a three-street juncture that, when looking at an aerial view would appear to be a trident with the Via Flaminia being the handle and three main roads in Rome (Via del Corso, Via del Babuino, and Via di Ripetta) branching off from the piazza.

    The Porta del Popolo was renovated in 1655 by Bernini in preparation for Queen Christina of Sweden’s triumphal entry in Rome – dressed as an Amazon on horseback – after she converted to Roman Catholicism and abdicated the throne; she lived in Rome, founded an academy for literature and political science and is buried below St. Peter’s with many other famous people and popes.

    Next to the Porta del Popolo is the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, most famous today for its art, specifically two fantastic Caravaggios, Crucifixion of St. Peter and Conversion of St. Paul. On the opposite end of the piazza are two Baroque churches from the 1600s that would appear to be identical, although they are not symmetrical: Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto. The facades of these two churches were designed by Carlos Rinaldi and redone by Bernini and Carlo Fontana.

    On the east end of the piazza is a green area called the Pinco park that serves as a connection to the Villa Borghese gardens and Villa Medici. These terraced gardens used to be part of the Augustinian monastery that was part of the church of Santa Maris del Popolo and has a waterfall and pedestrian steps. The road, which switchbacks up the hill, has a huge fountain and is lined with statues of Dacian prisoners.

    The Piazza del Popolo is a short walk from the Spanish steps and worth a visit on your walking tour of Rome.

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  • kazander's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo

    by kazander Updated Apr 12, 2004

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    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!

    twin churches
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  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo: Santa Maria del Popolo

    by martin_nl Updated Jun 1, 2003

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    You can see many treasures in this church. Bramante designed the apse, and the vault and the frescoues are by Pinturicchio. Raphael designed the Cappella Chigi, which features a mosaic of a kneeling skeleton. 100 years after Raphaels death Bernini finally could finish his work. Don't miss Carvaggio's Conversion of St. Paul and Cruxifixion of St. Peter in the Cerasi chapel.

    Address: Piazza del Popolo

    Porta del Popolo (l) & Santa Maria del Popolo
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  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Popolo: The twin churches

    by martin_nl Updated Jun 1, 2003

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    On the south side of the Piazza del Popolo are two churches designed by Carlo Rainaldi. The two churches look identical and when you picture it like I did with the obelisk in the middle it's like a mirror is placed. However if you look more careful you will notice the church on the left side is slightly smaller, because of space limitations. Inside the churches are not really interesting, but still funny if you want to check out if they have the same interior or not ;-)

    Address: Piazza del Popolo

    Santa Maria in Montesanto (l) & S.M. dei Miracoli
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