Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo Square with obelisk

Piazza del Popolo

Beautiful town square in northern Rome

The oval-shaped Piazza del Popolo has occupied the northern area of the city of Rome since Roman times. Pope Sixtus V expanded the square to its present size in the 16th Century. In the centre of the square rises an Egyptian obelisk, which was brought from Egypt to Rome by the Emperor Augustus in the Roman period and originally placed in the Circus Maximus. The four water-spouting lions at the corners are a popular resting place for summer tourists. The beautiful Piazza is surrounded by three churches. The church of Santa Maria del Popolo in the north next to the Porta del Popolo and the twin churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Monte Santo at the southern end of the square. In the east of the Piazza there is the increased Pinico - a beautiful park above the Piazza. Along the path, lined up with busts of the Italian national heros, you have a magnificent view of the piazza and the Roman city up to St. Peter. The look-out points of the park are among the most beautiful in the city especially at sunset.

Very close to the Piazza del Popolo, in the Via del Corso No. 18, is the Casa di Goethe. This was the former home of Goethe's friend Heinrich Tischbein, where the poet lived during his visit to Rome in 1786. A small exhibition provides information on Goethe's days in the Eternal City.

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