Piazza Navona

Considered one of the most exquisite examples of Baroque Rome, Piazza Navona sits on the ancient remains of the Diocletian Stadium, built in 86 AD as a space dedicated to athletic competitions and horse racing. A site for fairs, games and popular festivals in the past, the square is today dominated by the majestic Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, which was designed and begun by Carlo and Girolamo Rainaldo, and finished off by Borromini, who, with a few changes, made it one of the most precious examples of a Baroque church. Elegant buildings dot the square, such as Palazzo Pamphilj and the back façade of the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, built in 1450 for the Catholic Jubilee. In the square’s centre, stand the three breath-taking fountains: the Moor Fountain, the Neptune Fountain, and the Fountain of Four Rivers, a masterful work carried out by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Imagined as a majestic cliff with four giants carved into it, representing four rivers – the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile, and the Rio de la Plata – of the four known continents at the time, with the large granite obelisk (originally from the Circus of Maxentius on the Appia Antica) looming over it.