A beautiful old square surrounded by baroque gems, where you can relax in the cafés and enjoy the street entertainment.
Though not as old as some of the ancient monuments you’ll find across this historic city, the Piazza Navona is nonetheless a beautiful spot. Surrounded by façades built back in the 17th century when Pope Innocent X commissioned such legendary artists as Bernini, Borromini and Rainaldi, this space is a testament to Rome’s artistic heritage.
Here you’ll find the Palazzo Pamphilj, originally built by Rainaldi as a new home for the Pope, and now playing host to the Brazilian Embassy. Towering over the square is the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, with its striking domed roof decorated with murals as well as its shrine to St. Agnes. Renowned as the spot where the young martyr is said to have died, you can join a guided tour to learn more and even see the jewelled box where her skull is kept.
In the heart of the Piazza you’ll see the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), designed by Bernini and recognisable for its figures of four river gods as well as for its tall Obelisk of Domitian rising from the centre. Meanwhile at opposite ends of the Piazza, there are two other attractive water features: Giacomo Della Porta’s Fontana del Moro with its pink marble base and the Fontana del Nettuno, which depicts the god of the seas grappling with an octopus.
If you’re looking for a mellow spot in which to take a break on your trip around Rome, look no further than Piazza Navona. As well as cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy an espresso or one of Italy’s legendary desserts, you can enjoy the show provided by street artists, musicians and performers of all kinds.
Situated right in the heart of central Rome, the Piazza Navona can be reached on foot from the Trevi Fountain in less than a quarter of an hour, making it an ideal trip if you want to take in both at once. You can take the Metro and the buses to reach this area.