For almost 2000 years, Piazza Navona has been an evocative showcase of local Rome life. It is the city's elegant central square, following the contours of the ancient Domitian Stadium and filled with a harmonious mix of cafes, palaces, and landmarks. City life has always evolved around this space, and it continues to be a great place to watch Rome go by.
The original stadium was built in the 1st century AD and was paved over in the 15th century when Piazza Navona became the site of the main Rome market. Many exquisite Baroque buildings remain from this period, like the Palazzo Pamphili overlooking the piazza and the fountains of del Moro and Neptune. Piazza Navona's centrepiece is the Fountain of Four Rivers, which is topped by the towering Egyptian Obelisk of Domitian. Other monuments on the square include the Museo di Roma and the palaces of Torres Massimo Lancellotti and de Cupis. The main visitor attraction, however, derives from the local atmosphere. Sip an espresso on the open-air terraces, admire the cast of street artists and hawkers, and spend an afternoon watching Rome unfold.
Piazza Navona is found in the heart of Old Rome, its open space a stark contrast to the narrow winding streets that surround it. It is completely pedestrianised and located just a few minutes walk from other icons like The Pantheon and Palazzo Madama. The closest bus stops are at Senato, Rinascimento and Corso Vittorio Emanuele Navona.
This elegant space has always been a spectacular open-air show. Back in the 1st century, this was where the Romans came to watch the “agones” or games. Through the next centuries, festivals celebrating naval battles and epiphanies were staged here.