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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.
There are loads of wonderful ways to get the most out of Piazza Navona. Here's a list of some of our favorites:
If you'd like more activities, check out our Rome things to do page.
Located in Repubblica, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale, and Via XX Settembre. Via Veneto and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 2-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Rome City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Villa Borghese, Via del Corso, and Piazza del Popolo. National Gallery of Modern Art and Piazza di Spagna are also within 15 minutes. Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station and Rome Piazzale Flaminio Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in Rome City Centre, this guesthouse is steps from Via del Babuino, Via del Corso, and Piazza del Popolo. Piazza di Spagna and Villa Borghese are also within 10 minutes. Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station is 5 minutes by foot and Spagna Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Navona, this hotel is steps from Palazzo Montecitorio and Via del Corso. Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are also within 10 minutes. Spagna Station is 11 minutes by foot and Barberini Station is 12 minutes.
Located in Navona, this hotel is steps from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza Navona. Pantheon and Campo de' Fiori are also within 5 minutes. Spagna Station is 17 minutes by foot and Barberini Station is 18 minutes.
Located in Navona, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Piazza Navona, Campo de' Fiori, and Pantheon. Via del Corso and Castel Sant'Angelo are also within 15 minutes. Spagna Station is 17 minutes by foot and Barberini Station is 20 minutes.
Located in Repubblica, this hotel is steps 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.
Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Via Nazionale and Piazza della Repubblica are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is 8 minutes by foot and Cavour Station is 10 minutes.