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Piazza Navona

The old papal buildings have altered little over the centuries, but still act as an open-air hub for cafés and street entertainers. 

Considered one of Rome’s most accomplished displays of baroque architecture, this fine square gained its facades in the mid-17th century under Pope Innocent X, who employed artists like Bernini, Borromini and Rainaldi to transform this square into a showcase of Rome’s great artistry.

Rainaldi built the Palazzo Pamphilj, the new home of the pope, but it is now home to the Brazilian Embassy. The building that dominates the square is the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, dedicated to the young martyr who is believed to have died on this spot. Famed for its domed ceiling (covered with the sumptuous murals of Ciro Ferri and Sebastiano Corbellini) and its shrine of St. Agnes (with her skull encased in a bejeweled box), there are expert, if expensive, guided tours of the church available on a regular basis.

Walk into the center of Piazza Navona and you’ll be rewarded with the spectacular Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), a design of Bernini’s that depicts four river gods at the base, from which sprouts the sizable Obelisk of Domitian, not dissimilar to the Egyptian monument in Piazza San Pietro. You may recognize this fountain from the hit movie Angels & Demons, based on the Dan Brown novel. At opposite ends of the Piazza are two more water features, Giacomo Della Porta’s Fontana del Moro, with its distinct rose-colored marble base, and the Fontana del Nettuno, portraying the god of the sea wrestling with an octopus. There’s perhaps no other square in the world that uses water so artistically.

Piazza Navona offers the perfect place for a quiet stop during any visit to Rome. Not only are there many cafés and restaurants, so you can reward your walk with espresso and a tartufo (an Italian ice-cream dessert) from the superb Tre Scalini, but the scores of street artists, musicians and performers ensures there isn’t a dull moment. Grand and ancient, yet brimming with life, that’s Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona is in central Rome, less than 15 minutes’ walk from the Trevi Fountain, making these two sights an ideal duet. You can take a Metro/bus combination to get there.


Guide to Exploring Piazza Navona


Map

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Hotel Quirinale £138
Hotel Quirinale

Hotel Quirinale

Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
     
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Repubblica, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps away from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale and Via XX Settembre. Via Veneto and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 3-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.

    Hotel Nazionale £149
    Hotel Nazionale

    Hotel Nazionale

    Piazza Montecitorio, 131, Rome, RM
       
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Navona, this hotel is steps away from Palazzo Montecitorio and Via del Corso. Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is 13 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 13 minutes.

      iQ Hotel Roma £155
      iQ Hotel Roma

      iQ Hotel Roma

      Via Firenze, 8, Rome, RM
         
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Repubblica, this hotel is steps away from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Via Nazionale. Via XX Settembre and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 5 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 4-minute walk and Barberini Station is 9 minutes.

        Argentina Residenza Style Hotel £124
        Argentina Residenza Style Hotel

        Argentina Residenza Style Hotel

        Via di Torre Argentina 47, Rome, RM
           
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Navona, this hotel is steps away from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Largo di Torre Argentina. Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori are also within 10 minutes. Colosseo Station is 21 minutes by foot and Barberini Station is 22 minutes.

          Hotel Raphaël-Relais & Châteaux £258
          Hotel Raphaël-Relais & Châteaux

          Hotel Raphaël-Relais & Châteaux

          Largo Febo, 2-Piazza Navona, Rome, RM
             
            5.0 out of 5.0

            This family-friendly Rome hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Campo de' Fiori. Castel Sant'Angelo and Via del Corso are also within 10 minutes. Spagna Station is 19 minutes by foot and Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station is 20 minutes.

            Hotel Delle Nazioni
            Hotel Delle Nazioni

            Hotel Delle Nazioni

            Via Poli 7, Rome, RM
               
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Via del Tritone and Trevi Fountain. Via del Corso and Piazza di Spagna are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is 8 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 8 minutes.

              Boutique Hotel Campo dé Fiori £155
              Boutique Hotel Campo dé Fiori

              Boutique Hotel Campo dé Fiori

              Via Del Biscione, 6, Rome
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Navona, this boutique hotel is steps away from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Campo de' Fiori. Piazza Navona and Pantheon are also within 10 minutes. Barberini Station is 25 minutes by foot and Colosseo Station is 25 minutes.

                Gran Meliá Rome Villa Agrippina -The Leading Hotels of the World £339
                Gran Meliá Rome Villa Agrippina -The Leading Hotels of the World

                Gran Meliá Rome Villa Agrippina -The Leading Hotels of the World

                Via del Gianicolo 3, Rome, RM
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  This family-friendly Rome hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Passeggiata del Gianicolo and Castel Sant'Angelo. Villa Farnesina and St. Peter's Square are also within 15 minutes. Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 19 minutes by foot and Rome S. Pietro Station is 15 minutes.