• June 14, 2018

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

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Welcome to one of the most beautiful baroque squares in the world. This Piazza Navona square is the first stop on our Grand City Tour! It is the right place for a few videos when having fun on Segways!

Ruins of Stadium of Domitian underneath of Piazza Navona in Rome

Underneath Rome including Piazza Navona is a completely different world. The world of ancient stadiums, theatres and other ruins of the imperial city of Rome

Stadium of Domitian

Before the Piazza Navona square, there was an ancient stadium. The capacity of the stadium was up to 20000 spectators. It hosted games for athletes. From this time might be also the name of nowadays square here. Agones is an expression for games. Later it was transformed into avone and eventually to actual name: Navona. You can still visit the rest of the ruins of the ancient stadium. The entrance to cellars is in one of the corner buildings in the north part of the square.

Fountain of four rivers

The Nile in the Fountain of Four rivers in Piazza Navona in Rome

The Nile at the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona covers his face. That’s Bernini’s expression of saying that at the time the position of the spring of the Nile was unknown

In the middle of the Piazza Navona, there is a beautiful fountain. This monument was designed by John Lorenzo Bernini in 1651. Each of the statues represents a god of one river. The Danube, the Rio de la Plata, the Ganges and the Nile. The face of the god of the Nile is covered with a piece of cloth. That is because at the time the fountain was built they weren’t sure where it has its source. For this reason, Bernini decided to make this god blind.

Sant’Agnese in Agone

A magnificent church standing in the middle of Piazza Navona. Not only you can admire its beauty outside and inside but you can also enjoy a concert of classical music there. Of course, there are many other churches in Rome. In fact, there is more than 900 of them. On the other hand, you shouldn’t miss this one. It is definitely worth visiting!

The Rivals

The Rio de Plata in the Fountain of Four rivers in Piazza Navona in Rome

The river god of America, Rio de Plata, with cactus and basket of golden coins in the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona

When you are at the fountain have a look at one of the gods facing Sant’Agnes church. It looks like he was trying to protect his face against it. The legend says that he thinks the church is too ugly to look at or that he might be afraid that the church will fall on his face. Also at the tower of the church, there is a statue of a woman. She is overlooking the fountain below her because she has no interests in looking at it. This legend came up because Borromini and Bernini were quite rivals at the time. However, they built the fountain before the church. Therefore you can see, this legend was just made up by people:).

The Doves

Palazzo Pamphilj is the white palace next to Sant’Agnes church. You will see a Brazilian flag there now. The sign of this wealthy family Pamphilj which lived in this palace was a dove. Every time when some family paid for something to let it be built they put their signature on it. So that everyone could see that the family could afford it:). If you have a look at the top of the obelisk at the Fountain of Four Rivers you will see the dove. There are also a few of them at the fence in front of Sant’Agnes church. In conclusion, the Pamphiljs did a nice job to make the surroundings of their palace look beautiful.

Movies

Detail of a sea beast in the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona in Rome

Fantastic imagination of sea beasts in 17th century is well represented in Bernini`s Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona

Have you seen the movie Angels and Daemons with Tom Hanks? One of the scenes was shot here in the square. They tried to kill one cardinal in the Fountain of Four Rivers. That was the only cardinal who survived because brave Tom Hanks saved his life:)!

Nightlife

If you prefer to visit the square in the night time, we can take you there on our Grand City tour at Night! It is not that crowded and everything is beautifully lit up. The atmosphere of Piazza Navona at night will tempt you to have dinner or a glass of wine in one of many restaurants which are here in the square. Just be careful not to fall into one of the tourist traps which are usually at the most famous and visited landmarks in every capital city:)!