PiazzadelPopolo

Rome’s Stately Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo was, and is, a truly impressive welcome to Rome, beautifully proportioned, it is anchored by an Egyptian obelisk (acquired from Egypt by Augustus Caesar during his conquests) which theme is carried forward with a fountain featuring Egyptian lions and a dozen sphinxes on the surrounding wall. The arched portal to Piazza del Popolo was designed by Bernini for Pope Alexander VII. The most unassuming church in the Piazza, Santa Maria del Popolo, has beautiful treasures of the Renaissance: a dramatic tomb mentioned as the scene of a crime in Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, and two magnificent paintings by Caravaggio. The other two churches on the piazza are called “twins” and, at first glance look alike; it is fun to stop and identify the many differences in their architecture. Continue reading