Piazza Navona – visit the most beautiful square in Rome

Visit one of the most beautiful places in Rome

 

The elongated Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful and liveliest squares in Rome. Visit the square with the ‘La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi’ by Bernini.

History of Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful and famous squares in the center of Rome. In 86 AD, Emperor Domitian commissioned this square with its unique, elongated shape. This shape is the result of its original function as a stadium for athletics competitions (Circus Agonalis) with stands for 20,000 spectators.

Pope Innocent even organized so-called “water games” in the hot summer months, for which the entire square was flooded. After the fall of the Roman Empire, houses were built where the grandstands used to be, but the long athletics field remained free of buildings and became later Piazza Navona.

Sights around Piazza Navona

A number of unique buildings were added to the square in the 17th century. For example, Pope Innocent X commissioned the building of the church Sant’Agnese in Agone‘a palace, and he commissioned Bernini to build the fountain ‘La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi‘ (The fountain of the four rivers, the four statues representing the Danube, Ganges, Nile and Rio de la Plata).

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The fountain’s 16-meter-high obelisk originally came from the Maxentius circus on the Via Appia.

In addition to this fountain, there are also two smaller fountains in the square by Giacomo della Porta, an apprentice of Michelangelo. They are called the Fontana del Moro (the fountain of the moor) and the Fontana del Nettuno (the fountain of Neptune).

Several excavations were carried out five meters below street level of the original Stadio di Domiziano;; You can visit these excavations in Piazza Navona. The excavations are open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a ticket costs € 8. An audio guide tour lasts 40 minutes.

Nowadays the Palazzo Braschi, the palace in the square, houses the Museo di Roma. It tells the story of Rome over the centuries through countless paintings, engravings and other ancient works of art. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and an entrance ticket costs € 8.

Nowadays it is a lively square with countless cafes, terraces, street performers and portrait artists. Are you visiting Rome around Christmas? Be sure to visit this square as it has turned into a large Christmas market.

Video: Piazza Navona


Where is Navona Square in Rome?

The square is located in the center of Rome in the Campus Martius district, just 300 meters from the Pantheon. At just 200 meters you will find the Campo de’Fiori, the square with the popular daily market for flowers, vegetables, fruit and even souvenirs.