Piazza del Polpulo in Rome, Italy

In modern Italian, Piazza del Populo means “People’s Square”, but the name of this popular city square in Rome, Italy, actually derives from the word for the poplar tree.  Piazza del Populo was designed between 1811 and 1822 by Giuseppe Valadier who placed fountains on the east and west sides, an obelisk with four Egyptian Lion fountains in the center, used the twin churches Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto to form the south boundary, and used the Porta del Populo (Gate of the People) as the north boundary.

The obelisk, commonly called the Populo Obelisk, was erected by Ramses II in Heliopolis and was brought to Rome in 10 BC.  A copy of this obelisk stands at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

To the west is the Fountain of Neptune, showing Neptune f;anked by two dolphins and two Tritons.  To the east is the Fountain of Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene, with the she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus in front.

The Porta del Populo is an ancient gate that formed the northern entrance to Rome through the Aurelian Walls.  The Aurelian Walls once surrounded all seven hills of Rome.

Populo Obelisk

Populo Obelisk

SOURCE:  Populo Obelisk (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Lion Fountain

Lion Fountain

SOURCE:  Lion Fountain (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune

SOURCE:  Fountain of Neptune (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene

Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene

SOURCE:  Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Porta del Populo

Porta del Populo

SOURCE:  Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Stephen J. Danko

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