Piazza Navona Holiday Rome
Italy 1400AD-Present-Modern Era Europe

Piazza Navona – The beautiful square of the Four Rivers

October 26, 2018
LocationRome, Italy, Europe

Piazza Navona is always open to the public and the entry is free.

Only for special occasions such as the Christmas market, there might be security checks at the entries to Piazza Navona

Getting thereWalking, By Car, By bus

Piazza Navona once a sports stadium

  • Piazza Navona was once a sports stadium built by Emperor Domitian in 85 A.D
  • Now Piazza Navona is a square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones (“games”), and hence it was known as “Circus Agonalis” (“competition arena”). It is believed that over time the name changed to in avone to navone and eventually to navona.

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers

  • In the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius.
  • The Fountain of Four Rivers depicts four rivers, one of every continent known at the time: Danube, Nile, Ganges and Rio della Plata
  • The piazza is featured in Dan Brown’s 2000 thriller Angels & Demons, in which the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is listed as one of the Altars of SciencePiazza Navona Holiday Rome
  • Piazza Navona has two other fountains. At the southern end is the Fontana del Moro with a basin and four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta (1575) to which, in 1673, Bernini added a statue of a Moor, wrestling with a dolphin. At the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune (1574) also created by Giacomo della Porta; the statue of Neptune, by Antonio Della Bitta, was added in 1878 to create a balance with La Fontana del Moro.
  • Until the mid-nineteenth century, every summer the drains of the three fountains were blocked and the center of the square was flooded to make the “Lake of Piazza Navona”. It was greatly enjoyed by the locals.
  • The square is surrounded by restaurants and terraces. Great to visit also in the evening.
  • Visit at Christmas time for a unique market in the Piazza.
Stabilimenti Spagnoli
Church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore
Sant’Agnese in Agone