From the east side it is possible to take steps and paths to the Pincio gardens above the piazza. It is all up hill....
Before we leave the piazza, here is an interesting, gruesome fact: For centuries this piazza was the place of public executions. (I felt no cold chills of any ghosts while here though...)
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.
A small museum with real working models (some true to size) of da Vinci's machines. Tricky part is, some machines you can tinker with, others say "Do Not Touch". It was amusing to watch the two young curators admonishing the ones who touched the forbidden items.
Two favorite items: the closet of mirrors- check yourself out; and the gruesome horse-drawn wagon with scythes for mowing down enemies at the front, rear and sides.
Open daily 9:30 to 8pm.
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.
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
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.
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.
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... 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.
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.
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.
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.