The Piazza Navona of Rome!

In my family trip to Rome, we walk a lot, we find it the best way to see the city after arriving there. We arrived by air in Fiumicino airport, took the bus to final destination in Nomentano and then the rest on bus or foot. Above ground is the best way always!

We love to see the history and architecture of the cities and towns we visited and in the eternal Rome we love our times by the Piazza Navona square. It is superb and a must to visit while in Rome. There is lots of things to see there and I have written several posts on the city but this was one of our favorite walks.

roma-street-scenes-to-aug13

I like to tell you a bit more of this wonderful square. On a cloudy or not good photos ,they are a bit dark for that day.

Piazza Navona is Rome’s largest tourist square. Located in the northern part of the Campo di Marte, near the Pantheon, it is built on the ruins of the Domitian Stadium of the 1C, of which it retains the exact form. It is, with its monumental architectural décor  one of the most beautiful ensembles of Baroque architecture of Rome.

Rome

The Piazza Navona is originally a stadium built by Emperor Domitian in 86AD. Domitian introduced a cycle of Greek games: running, fist, javelin throwing and discus-throwing. In the 5C, the stadium is no more than ruins. Until Mid-19C , every summer the drains of the three fountains were blocked and the center of the square was flooded to make the Lake of Piazza Navona !

Rome

The present square is adorned with three fountains. The center, known as the Fountain of the Four Rivers, built by ordered of Pope Innocent X and completed in 1651. The four rivers symbolize the four parts of the world: the Danube for Europe, the Nile for Africa, the Ganges for Asia and the Río de la Plata for America. In the center of the Fountain is the obelisk of Piazza Navona bearing in Egyptian hieroglyph the name of Domitian, which is surmounted by a dove, emblem of the family Pamphili (Roman noble family giving many Popes such as Innocent X).  The obelisk is 16 meters high (about 52 feet) which originally was part of the Circus Maxentius found in the Appian Way regional park. It is a masterpiece of Baroque art, full of curves, effects as the obelisk appears to be placed on the void, a cave being built under its base and movements; It is a theater to herself, a spectacle in action.

Rome

Rome

Two other fountains adorn this square: the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Moor, dating respectively from 1574 and 1576. The figure in the Fountain of the Moor was initially called Seashell Fountain; this fountain is located on the southern side of the square. The basin of the Neptune Fountain, arranged at one end of the Navona square, received carved ornaments at the end of the 19C approximately in 1878.

Rome

This Navona square is one of the main tourist places of the city with its monuments, restaurants, terraces, artists and street animations. Other monuments on the square are the Stabilimenti Spagnoli, Palazzo de Cupis, Palazzo Torres Massimo Lancellotti, Church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore; Palazzo Braschi (Museo di Roma museum), Sant’Agnese in Agone, and Palazzo Pamphilj.

One of my best recollection of it in the movies was on the National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Rome: http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/piazza-navona?lang=en

And a nice place to see on the spot with webcam: https://www.skylinewebcams.com/fr/webcam/italia/lazio/roma/piazza-navona.html

It is a very nice square indeed, and a highlight of our family trip to Rome.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “The Piazza Navona of Rome!”

  1. love that area and Campo di Fiore as well! Great post

    Liked by 1 person

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