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Piazza Navona in Rome Tourist Guide

The Piazza Navona or Circus Agonale has a central location that makes it a great area to stay for sightseeing in Rome Italy.

This is one of the best piazzas in Rome, a favorite meeting place and especially lively at night. A great place to people watch, you will find locals and visitors from around the world enjoying the artists, outdoor cafes, street entertainers and more.

The Piazza Navona or Circus Agonale has a central location that makes it a great area to stay for sightseeing in Rome Italy.

Piazza Navona Rome Italy

The Plaza Navona Rome was built over a racetrack built by Emperor Domitian between AD 81-96. This Stadium of Domitan could hold 30,000 spectators. An original arch is preserved on the outside of the rounded end in the Piazza di Tor Sanguigna. It is visible from the street.

Piazza Navona Fountains

Piazza Navona Four Rivers Fountain Ganges figure

by Mattes
  • Fountain of Four Rivers - The central Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi was created by Bernini in 1651AD. The granite and travertine sculpture has an obelisk from the Circus of Maxentius on the Via Appia. The 4 figures represent the 4 continents that were known in 1650....Europe, Asia, Africa and America and their rivers....Danube, Ganges, Nile and Rio del la Plata from Uruguay. There are also animals, flora and fauna from the continents.
  • Fountain of Neptune - The basin of this fountain was done by Giacomo della Porta and the statue of Neptune was added in 1878 by Antonio Della Bitta. Neptune is caught by an octopus, sea nymphs struggle with sea horses and there are two tailed mermaids.
  • Fountain of the Moor - In front of the Palazzo Pamphilij, near the Church of St. Agnes, this fountain's basin and 4 Tritons were the work of Giacomo della Porta in 1575.

    The statue of the Moor or African was added by Bernini in 1673.

Church of Sant Agnese in Agone

Piazza Navona Rome Sant Agnese in Agone Dome
by MatthiasKabel

The Church of St. Agnes was built in 1642 by Girolamo Rainaldi. It was built upon the site of where the 14 year old St. Agnes was stripped naked before being martyred and her hair miraculously grew to cover her body.

The Dome is very impressive and decorated by Ciro Ferri with "glory of angels". There are 7 altars including St. Eustace and the lions, St. Agnes, St. Cecilia, St. Sebastian and the high altar sculpture of the Holy Family amid Saints.
Piazza Navona Rome St. Agnese Head in chapel of Sant Agnese in Agone

A door to the right of the St. Sebastian altar is a chapel where you can venerate the head of St. Agnes.

Underneath Sant Agnese in Agone are the remains of a primitive church and the Stadium of Domitian.

Other Rome sights to see in Plaza Navona

The Palazzo Pamphilj to the left of St. Agnes was designed by Rainaldi and is now the Brazilian Embassy. Church of San Giacomo dei Spagnoli or Nostra Signora del San Cuore across from San Agnese use to be the National Church of the Spainards and originally built in the 12th century by Infante Don enrique, the son of Ferdinand III of Spain. It has a unique Gothic rose window.

More nearby Rome Italy Attractions

  • Santa Santa Maria dell'Anima - Our Lady of the Soul church is the German National Church. It has a beautiful minaret-like spire or belfry and delightful courtyard of interesting pieces of sculpture. Inside you will find in the last chapel on the right a copy of Michelangelo's Pieta. The Blessed Sacrament chapel has a lovely 16th century crucifix and a reproduction of the famous German Madonna of Altotting. In the fourth chapel on the left is the lovely "Taking Down from the Cross" by Salviati.
  • Santa Maria della Pace - The best time to visit this church in the Piazza della Pace is early in the morning for mass, otherwise it could be locked (the caretaker in the adjacent cloister might be available to open it...a donation is asked). The beautiful facade by Pietro da Cortona has a curved porch with Doric columns. The church was built by Pope Sixtux IV in the late 15th century to represent the desire for peace among nations. Note the venerated painting of Our Lady with the Divine Child above the altar. It is told that a stone was thrown at the picture and it bled. There are also two interesting paintings of the Madonna, marble decoration by Michelangelo and the Sibyls Fresco by Raphael.
Sibyls Fresco by Raphael in Santa Maria della Pace Rome

Accommodation in Piazza Navona Quarter

This area is a great area to stay in Rome because of it's central location to the top Rome attractions. Please note that hotel prices are expensive in this area. Take a look at B&Bs and apartments below for an alternative that might be less expensive.

Rome Hotel Navona Neighborhood

Here are a couple of albergo Piazza Navona recommendations....

Hotel Raphael Relais & Chateux is a luxury hotel in a great location steps from the Navona Plaza. The rooms are well-appointed and the rooftop garden restaurant is wonderful. This is a fairly expensive hotel and there is no breakfast included in the price.

About a 5 or 10 minute walk away is Hotel Teatro di Pompeo Rome. Comfortable rooms in a great location and a complementary buffet breakfast.

Piazza Navona Bed and Breakfast

If you are considering a Plaza Navona B&B, Baldassini Bed and Breakfast Rome has gotten some great reviews and is reasonably priced.

Read reviews and check rates for all of the B&Bs near Navona in Rome.

Apartment in Piazza Navona

Studio della Pace Piazza Navona is a great choice for a Navona apartment. It is a one bedroom that sleeps four....perfect for a Rome family vacation and probably cheaper than a budget hotel Rome for a family. It is only 2 blocks from Navona and has a great food market right outside the door so you can cook meals and save money!

For a Rome vacation rental splurge you must check out Apartment Coronari Navona Piazza. That 2 terraces afford beautiful views of Rome and it is very near Navona. It is expensive, but would be a great option for a Rome honeymoon, substitute for a luxury hotel in Rome Italy or a wonderful treat for a short break family Rome vacation.

Piazza Navona Restaurants

There are many outdoor cafes and restaurants in the Navona Piazza including the well-known Tres Scalini or Three Steps Restaurant.

Try the world reknown "death by chocolate" (tartufo) ice cream at Gelateria Tre Scalini.
Navona Notte Restaurant Rome Italy

We ate at Navona Notte, Via del Teatro Pace 44, near Navona Plaza on one of our trips to Rome. This was a fun, lively little restaurant with great food and reasonable prices.

Shopping near Piazza Navona

A small morning Rome Market is found in the street on Via della Pace.

If you are visiting during Christmas, check out the Christmas Market at the Plaza Navona. There are many Nativity Cribs, toys, sweets and more. This Christmas Crib Fair lasts until Epiphany.

Rome antique shops - On nearby Via dei Coronari you will find many Rome Italy antique stores to peruse.

1699 Caspar VanWittel Painting of Piazza Navona Rome Italy
by Caspar VanWittel 1699

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