Piazza Navona

by pkmcr

One of my favorite places in Rome, Italy to while away a few hours watching people go by and sipping coffee or wine was Piazza Navona. Discover more about this wonderful place.

Piazza Navona really is something very special and a place which brings back so many very happy and contented memories.

Having had the extremely good fortune of spending three years living in Rome I spent many hours simply doing what the Romans love to do! Watching the world go by.

What better place could there be to sit and idle a few hours away, as you eat the delicious food that is served at the pavement cafe and bars; enjoying the nightlife and the day time entertainers and sipping coffee or wine.

Watching the jugglers perform and the artists and caricaturists demonstrating their skill as you enjoy the ambience of a very special place in the affections of many visitors and natives of Rome alike.

All with the backdrop if the beauty of Piazza Navona and the amazing soaring fountains by Bernini!

Piazza Navona Rome Italy
Piazza Navona Rome Italy
Personal Collection

History of Piazza Navona

Even though there are dozens of churches, historic monuments,museums, restaurants and other indoor attractions, Rome is very much an outdoor city and is at its' best when it is seen from one the many Piazzas.

The word Piazza means public square and they really are for the public. Unlike many other cities, Rome's Piazzas really are gathering places for the people of Rome and visitors alike.

Piazza Navona is dominated by one of the finest examples of Bernini's fountain work which is Il Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (The Fountain of the Four Rivers) which was built in 1651.Around a large obelisk there are four large sculptures which were executed by Bernini's students. One of these sculptures the Ganges, was sculpted by Claude Poussin who was later to become renowned in his own right.

The fountain really is quite amazing with a sea monster, a lion, cacti, palm tree and a dozen other pieces woven together around the Obelisk at the centre of the fountain.

The funding required for the creation of the fountain was so large that a taxes was levied on bread, which as you can imagine prompted outcries from Roman citizens both poor and rich. However today the visitor to Piazza Navona can simply relax and have a cup of coffee while watching the busy city.

The Fountain of the Moor sits at the other end of the Piazza featuring a Triton riding a dolphin.

As you walk around Piazza Navona you will see literally dozens of merchant stalls, cafes and restaurants. One favorite activity for many who visit the Piazza is to stop near one and have their portrait sketched by one of the numerous artists who can be found there.

Piazza Navona is a great place to experience at night. With the nightlife going until early in the morning! You will find mime artists, musicians, beggars, painters and other artists alongside hundreds of natives of Rome and and tourists promenading and seeing and being seen throughout the the oval plaza. The piazza was constructed around one of the ancient circuses which refers to an area where the streets converge rather than the more familiar expression which may conjure up images of Big Tops and animals!

The Fontana dei Calderai (Fountain of the Coppersmiths), which was later renamed as the Fountain of Neptune can also be found here. It is decorated with many sea figures including Neptune slaying an octopus, sea horses, dolphins and Nerieds or sea nymphs.

I spent many happy hours in Piazza Navona and it is one place that we always return ro every time we visit Rome!

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Updated: 10/11/2014, pkmcr
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blackspanielgallery on 06/13/2015

The Romans built things to really last. That their fountain still exists is itself amazing.

pkmcr on 10/12/2014

@Telesto hope that ou enjoy it when you get there!

Telesto on 10/12/2014

Sounds great, I'll put it on my list.

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