Long-ago travelers from the north once got their first glimpse of Rome from Piazza del Popolo, and the square’s scenic overlook offers a dramatic view of the city today. Art enthusiasts come to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, home to works by Raphael, Bernini, and Caravaggio.
Visit Piazza del Popolo to experience one of Rome’s largest public squares, marking the start of the ancient Via Flaminia. One side is anchored by Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto churches; the 15th-century Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo sits opposite. In the 19th century, architect Giuseppe Valadier reshaped the square around a central Egyptian obelisk. Don't miss the scenic overlook from Pincio gardens, connected by a switchback lane and pedestrian stairs.
A visit to the piazza is included in many Rome highlights tours on foot or by bike, e-bike, Vespa scooter, and Segway. A visit to Piazza del Popolo is easy to pair with a skip-the-line tour of the Colosseum and ancient Rome, the Borghese Gallery, or the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza Navona. For a photogenic view, join a sunset or evening tour of Rome.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The pedestrian-only square is easy to manage for families with young kids.
- Wear comfortable shoes for touring and bring a sun hat as the square has no shade.
- Piazza del Popolo is completely accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
- Be sure to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture the view of Rome from the scenic overlook.
How to Get There
Piazza del Popolo is located at the far end of Via del Corso in one of the most elegant areas of central Rome, and easy to reach by taking the metro A line to the Flaminio stop.
When to Get There
One of Rome’s main squares, Piazza del Popolo hosts concerts and events year-round. The square has no shade, so is best visited in the cool hours of morning or after sunset, when the monuments are beautifully lit.
Sights in Piazza del Popolo
In addition to the “twin” churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto by Bernini and Carlo Fontana and the art-rich Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, the square is home to a central Egyptian obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis surrounded by a grouping of four tiny fountains, the Porta del Popolo reworked by Bernini, and Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene fountain and Fountain of Neptune.