Piazza del Popolo is a great oval square named after Pope Alexander II, who christened it around 1655. Located at the northern edge of Rome, near Borghese Park, the square serves as a grand entrance for those entering the city via the Via Flaminia. An Egyptian obelisk, moved from the Circus Maximus in 1589, sits accompanied by a fountain in the center, surrounded by four Egyptian lions. Two churches rest on the south end of the square, on either side of the Via del Corso, the passage from the Piazza del Popolo straight through the heart of Rome. Santa Maria dei Miracoli can be seen on the right and Santa Maria in Montesanto on the left. Both churches, built as a set, are designed similarly but not identically, as the surface area of the Montesanto is clearly the smaller. This and other differences were intended to preserve symmetry and promote uniqueness between the two churches in relation to the square.
The key attraction of the square is certainly the great gateway, Porto del Popolo, opening up on Via Flaminia, at the north edge of the square. Piazza del Popolo is open to the public and can be viewed when entering the city or taking Via del Corso north through Rome to its end at the square. Bus rides and tours are available. For a taste of Roman architectural design during the Renaissance, this site is a must to see.
Address: Piazza del Popolo, 6, 00187 Roma, Italy
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