Piazza Navona

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Piazza Navona
Rome. Cityscape image of Navona Square, Rome with Fountain of Neptune during beautiful sunrise on Adobe Stock

Located in the heart of the historic city, near the Pantheon, Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares in Rome and the largest. Piazza Navona is a must-see!

Access: Located in the heart of Rome, it is best to get there on foot or by bus, many lines pass through Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II (40, 46, 62, 63, 64, 70…).

Built on the site of the ancient Roman stadium of Domitian (81-96 AD), it takes the form of a runway.

Long abandoned, before becoming a market place, it was Pope Innocent X who ordered the renovation of the square around 1650.

He commissioned Bernini to design the Fountain of the Four Rivers to adorn the centre of Piazza Navona. Similarly, the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone was renovated and its direction reversed so that the façade (by Borromini) faced Piazza Navona.

The family palace, which bordered the square, was also rebuilt.

The monumental fountain, which adorns the centre of the square, is the work of Bernini.

It is dedicated to four rivers, represented by statues, symbolising the four continents: the Danube for Europe, the Nile for Africa, the Rio de la Plata for America and the Ganges for Asia.

The ensemble is surmounted by an obelisk from the Circus of Maxentius. Hieroglyphics tell the story of Domitian’s rise to power.

The upper part is decorated with a dove holding an olive branch, an element of Innocent X’s coat of arms.

Two other fountains are located at the ends of the square, the Fountain of the Moor and the Fountain of Neptune.

This lively square is surrounded by terraces where it is pleasant to sit and eat or have a coffee. However, given the prohibitive prices, it is sometimes preferable to move a few streets away…

You can also try the Tre Scalini ice-cream parlour’s speciality, the truffle, a chocolate ice-cream with a cherry centre, surrounded by pieces of dark chocolate and topped with whipped cream!

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