Piazza Navona

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by artslover on May 22, 2007

Piazza Navona is located in the historic center of Rome, near the Pantheon. It is a great place to view some art and architecture, have a drink or a bite to eat, check out the shops, and generally people-watch.

The piazza follows the plan of an ancient Roman circus, essentially a race track. In this case, like the first-century Stadium of Domitian, where the Romans came to watch the agones ("games"). The name, Navona, stems from the corruption of the word agones into agone, then nagone and then, navona, which actually means "big ship" in Italian.

We went about noon hour, so stopped at a bar or enoteca with tables outside directly in front of Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. The fountain, unfortunately, is undergoing restoration, so had scaffolding and boards all around it and you could only see parts and not the whole. It is intended to represent the four great rivers of the world.

Where we sat was an excellent spot to view the Borromini designed church, Sant'Agnese in Agone as well as the della Porta fountains, Fontana del Nettuno, and Fontana del Moro.

The little food spot is called Tucci where we had caprese salad and pasta. Food was not great but okay for a big tourist site area and the bottle of Chianti washed it all down nicely.

As we ate lunch, the piazza grew steadily busier and guys selling illegal knockoffs of sunglasses, purses, and watches started setting up their tables or blankets. People began hanging around near our table waiting for us to leave.

We finally left our table to wander around the piazza, look at the sculptures close up and window shop in the various shops.

It was a fun place to spend time and soak up some atmosphere.

Piazza Navona

Rome, Italy, 00186


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