Piazza Navona In Rome

Explore the beauty of Piazza Navona

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Best time to visit
Oct - Apr
Ideal Duration
3-4 Days
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Piazza Navona, Rome (Italy)

One of the many beautiful and famous squares of Rome is Piazza Navona. It was built in the 1st Century AD on an earlier site of Domitian’ stadium, which was constructed by the Emperor Domitian in 86 AD. It is also believed that its name changed over a period from “in avone” to “navone”. Its location is actually in the center of the city due to which it still plays a very important role in Urban Rome.

Located on the western side of the Pantheon, Piazza Navona is not only a place of historical importance but also one of the liveliest squares of Rome and has plenty of nightclubs, outdoor cafes and restaurants.

History of Piazza Navona

One of the important places of Rome and Piazza Navona has a significant amount of Baroque art and architecture. It has been the main market of the city for almost 300 years. However, earlier it was used primarily for athletic purposes because it was a stadium. It was a huge edifice constructed in a rectangular shape and short rounded sides. It could accommodate 30,000 people easily.

It was built during the rule of Pope Innocent X. His family palace named as Palazzo Pamphili was positioned just in front of the piazza. There are several creations and sculptures, which are relevant to the history of Rome. In the past, a number of theatrical events and ephemeral activities were held here. From the year 1652 until 1866, it was immersed by people who came down for the celebration of the Pamphilij family in the month of August.

Facts of Piazza Navona

1) Originally, it was a competition arena for ancient Romans and they visited the Piazza to watch games.

2) It was then paved over in the 15th Century.

3)The square has featured in several movies including Angels and Demons, Catch-22, and Coins in the Fountain.

Piazza Navona at Night

Visitors in Rome can explore the beauty of fountains and the lively square in the evening. There are also night markets held at the square where local vendors sell all kinds of goods at a bargain. Tourists can also get their portraits made by local artists roaming around the square. Street theatre and other musical performances keep people busy at the square.

Piazza Navona Fountain

In the center of the Piazza Navona stands the Four Rivers’ Fountain, which is also known as Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. Gian Lorenzo Bernini made it on the request of Pope Innocent X between the year 1647 and 1651. The four rivers referred here are Nile, Danube, Rio de la Plata and the Ganges. The statues are supporting a pillar of Domitian at the base of a rock, originally situated at the Circus of Maxentius, closer to the Appian Way.

The second fountain is Fontana del Nettuno or the Neptune Fountain, which is located at the Northern end and was the art of Giacomo Della Porta, 1576. The statue of the Neptune is shown surrounded by sea nymphs.

Another fountain located in the Piazza Navona is the Moor Fountain or Fontana del Moro, which is located at Piazza Navona’s Southern End.  It was the creation of Giacomo Della Porta, displaying Moor holding a dolphin.

Church of Sant Agnese: a major highlight of Piazza Navona

Another major highlight of the place is the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. In the year 1652, Pope Innocent X commissioned this place. According to the legends, St. Agnes was stripped naked at this place but due to the astonishing growth of hair, he was miraculously saved. Borromini, who is the arch-rival of Bernini, constructed it. The church was built in the year 1670.

Domitian Stadium

Domitian Stadium also called Circus Agonalis as the architecture of this stadium is inspired by Greeks. It was mainly used for athletic events and it was the first permanent stadium of this kind in Rome. Domitian Square is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome with three stunning fountains and Baroque Church of Sant’Agnese. Later, in the 15th century, the stadium was paved over in order to create Navona Square.

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FAQ's of Rome

Read on to find out why our customers love us!

The square features three beautiful marble fountains and a church.

Piazza Navona is a public square in Rome which was built as an arena in the Roman Empire and later it came to be used as a market. In the 17th century, Pope Innocent X decided to rebuild this square into a monument for his family.

There are total of three magnificent fountains in Piazza Navona which are Fontana del Moro, Fontana die Quattro Fiumi, and Fontana del Nettuno.

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