Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

In ancient times passions ran high on Piazza Navona as it was the arena of the huge stadium that could seat up to 30 thousand people! Emperor Domitian built the stadium in approximately 85 AD and established summer Capitolian Games that were held in Rome every four years fr om 86 AD until the beginning of the IV century. The Games followed the Greek tradition instead of the Roman one and included competitions in literature, athletics and races. Gradually parts of the stadium were developed and dwelling houses started to appear on the spot until in the XVII century the former stadium turned into one of the most magnificent squares in Baroque style. Two churches face the piazza including Sant'Agnese in Agone with its luxurious interior and several palaces including the Palazzo Pamphili that accommodates the long gallery frescoed by Pietro da Cortona. Nowadays this palace houses the Brazilian Embassy. Remember heroes of the movie Marriage Italian Style used to live in the house opposite the embassy. You will definitely recognize the house with the terrace on the roof!

In the centre of piazza stands the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers - a masterpiece by Gian Lorenzo Bernini topped by the Egyptian obelisk. Piazza Navona has two additional fountains - the Fontana del Moro and the Fountain of Neptune killing the hydra. Both of these fountains were designed by Giacomo della Porta and later rebuilt by Bernini. The fountains acquired their final look already in the XIX century. In the XVII-XVIII centuries Piazza Navona was flooded for the weekends during August, the hottest month of the year. For this purpose the fountains were overfilled with water. Piazza Navona is a lively place, one the most visited squares of Rome.

In the streets around Piazza Navona you may find numerous restaurants that are cheaper than those located right on the square. Taste a meal in the cosy home restaurant Ponte e Parione (Via di Santa Maria dell'Anima, 62). It is very easy to find if you turn right to the first street after church Sant'Agnese in Agone and to the right again on the next crossroad! Pasta with meatballs or sausages is something unbelievable! The service at this restaurant is also very kind. Piazza Navona is the place where artists sell their works and draw portraits. There are numerous souvenir shops, street musicians and dancers, ’living’ statues. Life on piazza becomes even more joyful when the traditional Christmas fair opens on 1 December. All of a sudden piazza turns into a fairy tale with apples in chocolate glazing, bagels, figures picturing Biblical scenes and, of course, with the Santa Claus whom you can visit and sing a song with.

Address: Piazza Navona
Coordinates: 41.899203, 12.473027