Inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls you will find The Piazza Del Popolo, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome. This was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, or the road to Ariminum (modern day Rimini), the most important route to the north. Before the age of railroads it was the first view of Rome that a traveller had upon arrival. The Piazza del Popolo was the place for public executions for centuries, the last one took place in 1826.
The Porta del Popolo stands to the north of the piazza. It was given it's current appearance by Bernini for Pope Alexander VII in 1655, to welcome Queen Christina of Sweeden to Rome, after her conversion to Roman Catholicism and her abdication.Opposite Santa Maria del Popolo stands Carabinieri station, the dome refects the church.
To the left side of the Porta del Popolo you will find the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, it was rebuilt between 1472 and 1477 by Baccio Pontelli and Andrea Bregno and hosts several paintings and sculptures, that are considered to be masterpieces, by Caravaggio, Pinturicchio, Carracci, Raffaello, Bramante, and Bernini.
In the center of the square lies The Flaminio obelisk, it has been there since 1589, by order of Pope Sisto V. It is a monolith made of granite that was built in Egypt betweeen 1232-1200 b.c. and brought to Rome by Emperor Augusto.