Something that I love about Italy in general are it’s amazing piazzas, and Piazza Navona is one of the best in Rome. Standing in the place of the ancient Roman Stadium of Domitian, the piazza has kept the long shape of the original building. Piazza Navona was built up to what it is today during the 17th century and has some excellent examples of the art and architecture from that time.
The piazza is mainly a pedestrian area, with three amazing fountains in the middle and the 17th century church of Sant’Agnese in Agone dominating the buildings surrounding it.
The fountain in the middle of the piazza is the Fontana de Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) and is an amazing piece of artwork. Designed by Bernini, the fountain is meant to represent the four rivers of the Nile, Danube, Ganges and Plate. Four rivers from four continents. The detail is incredible, but even more amazing is the huge Egyptian 1st century obelisk sitting on top of the fountain, rising high into the sky.
There are two smaller 16th century fountains at each end of the piazza. At the Southern end, where we entered into the piazza, is the Fontana del Moro (Moor Fountain) which is characterized by it’s four Triton sculptures. At the Northern end is the Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune), characterized by it’s statue of Neptune.
The art and architecture of these fountains, the church and all of the buildings around the piazza is all accented by some amazing Roman culture. Alfresco style cafes sit along the edge of Piazza Navona while musicians and street performers play and act in the centre. You can simply sit with a cappuccino or a glass of wine and look out at the fountains and church, while listening to classical Italian music. A perfect way to spend part of a day.
If you’re heading to Rome, spend a morning or afternoon in Piazza Navona, it’s a great experience.