One of the most famous and sumptuous squares in Rome, Piazza Navona is home to the Baroque Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and Palazzo Pamphili, both overlooking Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers. Bustling outdoor cafes and rowdy buskers lend a lively air to the otherwise stately square.
With its ornate churches and palaces, lively restaurants, and riot of street vendors and performers, Piazza Navona is one of the most popular public spaces in Rome. Private and hop-on-hop-off tours of Rome’s most famous landmarks generally include a stop in Piazza Navona, as do themed tours of classical Roman or Baroque sights. In addition to this important square, skip-the-line Rome highlights tours may include the Colosseum, Vatican (and Sistine Chapel), and Trevi Fountain. You can opt for a walking or electric bike tour, or see the piazza as part of a food tour that also stops at the Campo de’ Fiori market and cafés and gelato shops.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The pedestrian-only square is crowded with street performers, so it’s a nice break for families with young kids.
- If you’re joining a walking or bike tour of Rome and Piazza Navona, wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
- Piazza Navona is easy to navigate with a wheelchair or stroller, though the cobblestones make the terrain a bit bumpy.
- There are plenty of cafés and gelato shops in or near the square, making it the perfect spot for a pick-me-up.
How to Get There
Piazza Navona is located in the historic city center of Rome between the Pantheon and the Tiber River. To reach the square by public transportation, take one of several buses that stop on Largo di Torre Argentina a short walk away.
When to Get There
Lively year-round, Piazza Navona is crowded with buskers and street musicians in summer, and is home to a charming Christmas market that lasts the entire month of December.
The Oval Square
The oblong-shaped Piazza Navona was built on the site of the ancient Stadium of Domitian, where citizens of Rome would watch games and races in the 1st century AD. The stadium may be gone, but the unusual shape of the space remains today, marked by three Baroque fountains: Bernini’s central masterpiece flanked by two smaller fountains by Giacomo della Porta at each end.