There are many spectacular squares to see in Rome, but there is one that stands out above all and in which the baroque dominates the beauty of the square.
This is Piazza Navona, one of the most famous in the city located between narrow streets.
The square has an elongated shape that is no coincidence, since it is located in the same place where the Diometian Stadium was located, from the 1st century. In fact, some remains of the stadium still remain.
The 3 Fountains of Piazza Navona
All the buildings around Piazza Navona are spectacular, but what stands out above all else are its fountains.
In total there are 3 fountains that we can find in the square, all baroque, one in the center and the other 2 on both sides.
The central fountain is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or of the Four Rivers.
It is called that because it is made up of 4 statues that represent the main rivers of the four known continents at the time it was built, in 1651 by Bernini. These are the Nile, the Río de la Plata, the Ganges and the Danube.
Above the statues we find a 16-meter obelisk recalling the obelisks that were located in the center of Roman circuses.
On one side we find the Fountain of Neptune, the work of Giacomo della Porta, dating from 1574 although it was abandoned until 1873.
On the other side is the Fuente del Moro, also by Giacomo della Porta in 1573, although perfected by the great Bernini.
These two pretty fountains are overshadowed by the majesty of the central fountain.
Walking through Piazza Navona. Santa Maria in Agone
In Piazza Navona you will always find a great atmosphere.
In it there are a large number of restaurants and terraces, with very high prices by the way, and it is also possible to find numerous street artists and many painters.
And if you go at Christmas you will find one of the most interesting Christmas markets in Europe.
In addition to the 3 fountains, each building has something special, but there are two that we must highlight.
One of them is the Palazzo Pamphili, which is currently the Embassy of Brazil and was the residence of Pope Innocent X, who is responsible for the square’s current appearance.
The other is a church, that of Santa Agnese in Agone. This church was built by Borromini and is located in the place where Saint Agnes, according to legend, miraculously grew her hair to cover her nudity during her martyrdom.
The Church of Santa Agnese in Agone is also the protagonist of another legend and that is that the statue of the Fountain of the Four Rivers that is located in front of the church is showing a gesture of displeasure and that is that Bernini and Borromini were great rivals.
It is not known if it was really what Bernini wanted to convey, but it is a very curious legend.
Churches near Piazza Navona
Near Piazza Navona we can find Sant’Ivo alla sapienza, which is also considered one of the great masterpieces of the baroque.
It is the work of Borromini, perhaps his best work, and its helicoidal dome is very famous. The pity is that you can only visit on Sundays from 9am to 12pm.
Almost attached to Piazza Navona, we find the Church of San Luis de los Franceses and stands out above all for the paintings by Caravaggio found inside. It is a church that is practically obligatory to visit.
And very close we also find the Church of Santa María della Pace, this time Renaissance. Inside we can find frescoes by Raphael and we must also highlight its Cloister, by Bramante.