Prior to the arrival of the railway, in the middle of the 19th century, the Piazza del Popolo was a northern visitor's first view of Rome.
A plaque near the gate (Porta del Popolo) is a grim reminder that Piazza del Popolo was also once the site of public executions. The plaque states that Angelo Targhini and Leonida Montanari, two members of a political group known as the Carbonari, were executed in the piazza on November 23rd 1825.
Giovanni Battista Bugatti (1779–1869) was Rome's official executioner from 1796 to 1864. Nicknamed Mastro Titta, a corruption of maestro di giustizia (master of justice), he was the city's longest-serving executioner.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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