|Piazza del Popolo|
At first glance the Piazza del Popolo – the People’s Square – is reminiscent of London’s Trafalgar Square. It has fountains, lions and even a column. Strictly speaking it’s a carved Egyptian obelisk – the obelisco Flamino – and at thirty-six metres is a shorter cousin to Nelson’s. It was originally used as a marker within the arena at Circo Massimo.
The piazza is a large, open space and had once been used for public executions – not something Trafalgar Square can stake a claim on. More recently, Dan Brown’s Langdon had found a half-buried cardinal in the crypt of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, one of the churches that opens on the piazza.
If you visit this piazza, find the energy to climb the steps and enjoy the spectacular view across Rome. Then carry on along the road and you’ll find yourself at Trinità dei Monti – the church that looks over the Spanish Steps.