Piazza Navona - The Heart of the City

Piazza Navona
While Rome has many wonderful areas, perhaps the heart of the historical center is here, Piazza Navona. Night life until 2-3 in the morning - mimes, artists, beggers, restaurants, bars, famous ice cream, wonderful shops, musicians, a gorgeous church, and three fabulous fountains! Yes, maybe the food and drinks are overpriced - but sitting in the piazza watching the world go by is so lovely, how can you complain?

If spending extra for the view and scene offends you, see my tip on the neaby but almost hidden restaurant LaFocaccia where you can spend less but eat well.

The oval (but small) shape of the piazza follows the curves of the original stadium, built by Domitian. Originally called the Piazza "in Agone" for the contests he staged here ("agone" were classical Greek nude atheletic contests), the name was corrupted over the years from "in agone" to Navona.

However, the name of the beautiful Church, St. Agnes in Agone, remained unchanged. It's still being restored, but is now open to visitors.

Take a closer look at my photo of a detail of Bernini's Fountain of Four Rivers, which is in the center of the piazza. A bit of trivia with which you can amaze your friends (or not): the drain for the fountain is hidden in the mouth of the fish! Check it out for yourself.

  • Address: Piazza Navona
  • Directions: Rome Center




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