Home » Destinations. » Italy » Rome: A Catholic’s Guide to Rome, the “Eternal City” » Rome: Piazza Navona

Rome: Piazza Navona

About Piazza Navona:

Probably one of the most visited tourist areas in Rome, Piazza Navona was originally the site of the Stadium of Domitian – where festivals and sporting events took place, which is why it has a long oval shape.

One of the main features are the three famous fountains here:

Fountain of the three rivers in Piazza NavonaAt the northern end is the Fontana di Nettuno, (Neptune) built in 1576 by Giacomo della Porta. The statues of Neptune surrounded by sea nymphs were added in the 19th century.

The fountain in the center, La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers), was designed by Bernini and built for the Pope in 1651.  In the center of the fountain is a tall Roman obelisk and surrounding it four figures can be seen, each representing the great rivers: Ganges, Nile, Danube and Rio de la Plata.

On the base of the fountain are the pope’s coat of arms, a dove and and olive branch.

And at the southern end you will find The Fontana del Moro, which was added in the 17th century and depicts a Moor fighting a dolphin.

Fronting the Piazza Navona is the Church of Saint Agnes in Agony…one of the most beautiful churches in Rome, and where her skull is preserved.

It is a prime tourist area….the Piazza is surrounded by restaurants and street artists selling their wares.  Still, some of the restaurants are surprisingly good and not terribly over-priced (not always true in tourist areas).  And the atmosphere is very pleasant…certainly worth your time. You can read reviews of restaurants in Piazza Navona at TripAdvisor

⇐ Back to Catholic shrines & places of interest in Rome