People’s Square, located between the Pincio hill and Tiber River is embellished with churches, monuments and fountains. The Via Flaminia highway constructed in 220 BC to connect Rome to the north starts from this square. In 1562 Pope Pius IV made enhancements to the old gate in order to improve the look and impress visitors.
Piazza del Popolo is featured by twin churches (St Mary of Miracles and St Mary in Montesanto), an Egyptian obelisk and three streets projecting from the square into the city center.
The similar churches, that lead to the heart of the city past Via del Corso, were commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1658. Though they look identical, one is slightly bigger than the other.
In 1589, Pope Sixtus V erected 23,2m high obelisk at the center of the square which was originally brought to Rome from the sun temple in Heliopolis (Egypt); by Emperor Augustus around 10 BC.
Giuseppe Valadier (1811-1822) once more did the necessary restyling of the old square made in 1572. Bernini again redesigned the massive gate to the north (opening to Via Flaminia), as a sign of gratitude by Pope Alexander VII to Queen Christina’s of Sweden conversion to Roman Catholicism.
The square is close to Villa Borghese, easily accessible by metro, walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso (not-cheap shopping street).