Piazza Navona in Rome is one of the most famous and beautiful squares of the city.
It is built on the site once occupied by the Stadium of Domitian, commissioned by Emperor Domitian in 85 A.D. and refurbished by Alessandro Severo during the III century. It was 276 m long, 54 m wide and could hold 30,000 spectators.
The stadium boasted several statues, like the statue of Pasquino, now standing in the square next to Piazza Navona, which bears the same name.
In order to mitigate the heat, they used to flood the square during summer, in August. The ancient square was concave, so it was easy to flood it by closing the hatches of the three fountains.
Thanks to Pope Innocent X’s commissions Piazza Navona became a significant example of Baroque Roman architecture and art, boasting works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini, and Girolamo Rainaldi.
The square was meant to celebrate the Pamphili family, so Pope Innocent X ordered a building bearing this name, as well as a number of sculptural and architectural creations in the baroque style.
Piazza Navona with its carved fountains, baroque palaces and open-air coffee bars is the most elegant square of Rome.
Choose among our b&bs in Rome nearby Piazza Navona, to lose yourself through the alleys, discovering new suggestive glimpses, pleasantly visiting the most important churches and buildings of Rome.
DID YOU KNOW...?According to a very popular legend related to the rivalry between Bernini and Borromini, who were the major baroque masters, the statue of Plate in the Fountain of the Four Rivers has its arm raised because it fears the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone (standing in front of the fountain) will collapse over him, while the statue of Nile is covering its face because it dislikes the church and does not want to see it. The truth is the statue is covered with a veil because the Nile spring was not known yet at the time it was sculpted. It’s just a legend of course, because the Fountain was erected between 1648 and 1651, while Borrimini started to work on Sant'Agnese after 1652.