Piazza Navona

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The square is located in the center of Rome and if you spend just a short time wondering the central part of the city you probably will get to the square by accident if you are not looking for it. If you only in town for a short time it is well worth making sure you get to the square.

The square is built on top of the old Dimitian Stadium – which probably can explain the shape of the square which is very long and fairly narrow. The square became a public area back in the 15th century and it has been remodeled starting around that time with many baroque buildings around the square.

The Borromini church

The center of the square is dominated by a church called the Sant Agnese in Agone whose main architect was Borromini. This architect had a rivalry with Bernini who designed the big Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – or four rivers fountain – in front of the church. The story goes Bernini intentionally designed the statue facing the church with his hand raised so he couldn’t see the façade of the church of his big rival. The story could be true – but the fountain was actually built a bit before the church so maybe it is just a very old urban legend which has survived through the centuries because it is a good story.

Statue holding up hand to cover the church

In addition to the main fountain at the center of the square there are another couple of fountains at each end of the square and the buildings surrounding the square are generally very pretty.

There are many small restaurants around the square so it convenient to go there around eating times. From Piazza Navona it is only a short walk to the Pantheon or if you walk in the other direction to Engelsborg or Castel Sant’Angelo in Italian.

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