Saint Peter and the other squares

Saint Peter's square is Rome's most famous plaza and a walk around the city's most beautiful squares just has to start from here.

Saint Peter's square. The center of Christianity, Saint Peter's square is a masterpiece of architecture and urban planning: the immense colonnade designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the genius of the baroque, is a symbolic and spectacular embrace to pilgrims who come here from all over the world.

Piazza Navona. Its oblong shape follows that of the ancient Roman stadium which lies beneath it. This elegant square today hosts bars and restaurants from whose tables you can enjoy the view on the fountain of the Four Rivers and on the quiet, everyday Roman life. From Christmas to Epiphany piazza Navona hosts Rome's most famous market and the even more traditional Epiphany Market.

Piazza di Spagna. Audrey Hepburn has an ice cream, walks down the stairs and meets Gregory Peck: it's a scene from Vacanze Romane (Roman Holidays), which takes place in the beautiful Piazza di Spagna, between the famous staircase of the Trinità dei Monti and the fountain of the Barcaccia. It's the heart of the luxury district, and in spring the azalea flowers turn it into a spectacular color show.

Piazza del Popolo. The twin churches, the Egyptian obelisk, the nineteenth-century palaces: Piazza del Popolo is one of Rome's widest plazas and the locals love it with its peculiar appearance. Take a moment to stop at one of the plaza's historical cafes, the Rosati and the Canova. They've been a favorite haunt of actors and musicians since the beginning of the twentieth century, and with any luck, you can meet some of today's VIPs!

Piazza del Campidoglio. Its current appearance was conceived by the genius of Michelangelo, who re-designed it at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Its symbolic center is the wonderful equestrian statue of Marco Aurelio (a copy from the original, on display in the Palazzo dei Conservatori just in front), which stands, in perfect balance, among the big sixteenth-century palaces overlooking the plaza.

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