On any day of the year, any time of day, Piazza Navona is thronging with people.
Not only tourists, but plenty of romans too, who come here to sit on the benches, eat ice cream in the bars along the square, or simply watch the crowds strolling around the fountains and grand palaces of this baroque masterpiece. It is one of the favourite squares for romans; for centuries it has been a place of fun for rich and poor alike.
Vita nella piazza
In this beautiful square kids play and roman families meet.
On summer evenings, when the sunset casts red hues over the rooftops of Rome, Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful places to be.
The rectangle of sky above the square darkens slowly, while in the buildings and rooms yellow lights appear. Leaving from any of the side streets, you remain entranced by so much beauty.
Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares in Rome, built by the Pamphili family. Its shape is that of an ancient stadium. It was built in monumental style at the behest of Pope Innocent X (Giovanni Battista Pamphili).
The Piazza, in ancient times, was the Stadium of Domitian, constructed by that emperor in 85 AD and then restored by Alexander Severus in the 3rd century.
It was 276 meters long, 106 wide and could accommodate 30 000 spectators.
The stadium was richly decorated with statues, one of which, that of Pasquino, is now in the eponymous piazza nearby.
Since it was a stadium and not a circus, there were no carceres (the gates from which racehorses emerged) nor the thorn (the dividing wall around which the horses ran) as in the Circus Maximus, but it was all open and used for athletic competitions.
The obelisk, which is now at the centre of the square was not original, but comes from the Circus of Maxentius, which still stands on The Appian Way.
The name of the square was originally “in Agone” (from the Latin for games) because the stadium was used exclusively for athletics.
In antiquity the square was concave. The three fountains could be made to flood the square.
From the apartments, just cross PONTE SISTO and in 10 minutes on foot you get to Piazza Navona.
Don’t forget about nearby Campo dei Fiori with its market where you can drink fresh juice get fine ingredients to take home.
Part of the texts taken from Wikipedia: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_Navona