Piazza del Popolo, Rome Overview

Formerly known as Porta Flaminia, Piazza del Popolo is one of the most popular squares in the city of Rome. With three legendary churches bordering the square with an Egyptian massive obelisk in the middle, it is the centre of tourism in the city. The square has been a huge part of Roman history as it served as the main gateway to the city of Rome where the foreigners had arrived. Piazza del Popolo was the first look of the city that any foreigner got of Rome and hence it had the quality of always being crowded and bustling.

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Piazza del Popolo

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Local Attractions at Piazza del Popolo

1. The Egyptian Obelisk 

Located right at the centre of the square, this obelisk is definitely the most eye catching monument here. This is the second oldest obelisk in the city and was brought by Augustus to Rome.

2. Fountains

Designed by Valadier, they were a part of the overall initial layout of the square. The one at the west is Fontana del Nettuno that depicts the god Neptune and other sea creatures. Another fountain is Fontana della dea di Roma that illustrates the Goddess of Rome and the holy rivers.

3. Churches

There are 3 churches that surround this square, two of being absolute symmetrical and the other one being Santa Maria del Popolo.

How to Reach Piazza del Popolo

Nearest Metro Station: Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo (line A)

Bus: 89, 119, 490, 495

Nearest Tram Stop: Flaminio (line 2)

History

In the mid sixteenth century, Pope Pius IV had proposed the construction of a huge gate  which came to be known as Porta Flaminathat served as a welcoming monument for the traveller. Bernini was appointed to design the inner facade of the gate. 

In 1587, the Egyptian obelisk called Sety I from Circus Maxiimus was shifted to the centre of this square under the rule of Pope Sixtus V. In the early nineteenth century, Giuseppe Valadier designed the bordering walls of the square that gave it its elliptical shape.  A central fountain and statues of four Lions around the grand obelisk was also built by him in the subsequent years.

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