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Piazza del Popolo is always open to the public and the entry is free.
Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo
|Getting there|| |
Walking, By Car, Metro, Train
Metro station: Flaminio – Piazza del Popolo
|Location||Rome, Italy, Europe|
Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome
- The piazza lies inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, and now called the Porta del Popolo. This was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern-day Rimini), and the most important route to the north. At the same time, before the age of railroads, it was the traveler’s first view of Rome upon arrival. For centuries, the Piazza del Popolo was a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826.
- Porta del Popolo – In 1562 pope Pius IV commissioned architect Nanni di Baccio Bigio to construct a large gate, the Porta Flaminia, to impress the pilgrims who entered the city via the Via Flaminia. The gate was later renamed Porta del Popolo
In the center of the Piazza del Popolo square stands one of the biggest obelisks in Rome, from Egypt, 24 meters high, and dating back to 1.200 BC. The Flaminio Obelisk was originally built around 1300 BC and stood at the Sun Temple in Heliopolis.
The fountain on the western end of the square is the Fontana del Nettuno (Neptune Fountain) and shows Neptune accompanied by Tritons.
Fountain of the goddess of Rome
Fontana della dea di Roma (Fountain of the goddess of Rome) – The fountain opposite the Neptune Fountain, at the foot of the Pincio Gardens, is known as the Fontana della dea di Roma (Fountain of the goddess of Rome). The central figure is the goddess Rome, flanked by allegorical figures representing the rivers Tiber and Aniene. Below the goddess is a statue of a she-wolf, suckling Remus and Romulus, founder of Rome.
At the southern end of the square are two symmetrical churches on either side of the Via del Corso, a street leading straight through the heart of Rome to Piazza Venezia. The churches, the Santa Maria dei Miracoli and the Santa Maria in Montesanto were commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1658. They were both designed by Carlo Rainaldi.
Santa Maria del Popolo
There’s one more church at the Piazza del Popolo, the Santa Maria del Popolo. It is located right near the Porta del Popolo. The church contains many impressive works of art, including Rome’s oldest stained-glass windows and two famous paintings by Caravaggio. The Chigi chapel – created by Raphael – and the Della Rovere chapel – embellished with fifteenth-century frescoes – are particularly noteworthy.
Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Museo Leonardo da Vinci is located at Basilica Santa Maria de Popolo at Piazza del Popolo, Rome, a five-minute walk from the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese. The museum is open every day.
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