National Geographic : 1937 Mar
Photograph byBranson De Cou TRAVELERS ON THE "GRAND TOUR" USED TO ENTER ROME THROUGH THE SPACIOUS PLAZA, AS MOTORISTS STILL DO Before the days of the railroad, visitors from countries to the north came by coach, horse, or on foot, along theancient Via Flaminia, across this Piazza del Popolo, and on into the heart of the city. Brought to Rome from Egypt by Augustus some years before the birth of Christ, the 79-foot obelisk was first erected inthe Circus Maximus. In 1589 it was moved to the Piazza. Westward beyond the Tiber to the hill occupied by Vatican City stretches one ofthe capital's broad avenues. On the sky line St. Peter's rears its dome.