Obverse Bust to left, a portrait of Fabio Chigi, Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667), wearing cope with embroidery of Christ as the Redeemer, and tiara. Around, ALEX . VII . PONT . MAX . A . VII ; below truncation, 1662. Reverse View of the Piazza del Popolo, showing the three streets running off the piazza: at right the Via Leonina (later di Ripetta), in the centre Via Larga (later del Corso), and at left the Via Paolino (later del Babuino), with the churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (right) and Santa Maria di Montesanto (left), a in foreground the obelisk set up by Domenico Fontana in 1589. Around, SAPIENTIA . IN . PLATEIS . DAT . VOCEM . SVAM; below, MDCLXII (Wisdom gives voice in the squares of the city, Proverbs, I, 20).
This foundation medal for the twin churches in the Piazza del Popolo is one of the most picturesque of all papal architectural medals. The piazza is shown busy with pedestrians and carriages, clouds float overhead, and behind the new churches, a complete townscape is visible. The high degree of illusionism is typical of the designs furnished by Gian Lorenzo Bernini to the papal medallist Travani, and it is generally assumed that the scene of the piazza depends from a Berninesque model so far undiscovered. The reverse records the architect Carlo Rainaldi's design at the time of laying the cornerstone of S. Maria di Montesanto on 15 July 1662; subsequently, Rainaldi added free-standing porticoes to that church, Carlo Fontana instituted further changes in 1664, and Rainaldi made additional modifications himself in 1665.