Two blocks from Margutta 19 and Babuino 181 is Piazza del Popolo, a graceful oval public space. The name means ‘People’s Square’, but it was actually named after the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo (St Mary of the Poplars), which overlooks the piazza. Inside it has an incredible wealth of artistic riches, including works by Caravaggio and the Chigi Chapel designed by Raphael and Bernini.
The piazza is the starting point for the ancient Roman road, Via Flaminia, which is marked by a grand gateway. Until the advent of flight, this was for many their first view of Rome as they approached the city from the north, hence its grandeur. The current look of the square dates from the 19th century, when it was remodeled by architect Giuseppe Valadier, who also incorporated and landscaped the route up the Pincio hill, a viewpoint at the edge of the Villa Borghese gardens. You can walk up the zigzagging path from the piazza for soaring, romantic city views: see many other insider tips in our guide ‘A Roman Notebook’, which you’ll receive on arrival.