Piazza Navona is the exquisite showpiece square of central Rome with its baroque palazzi, spectacular fountains, and the colorful company of street artists, hawkers, and tourists. The primary market for the city was held there for about 300 years. It was constructed over the Stadio di Domiziano, which dates back to the first century. Come early in the morning before the people gather or late at night when the fountains are illuminated to experience the piazza at its most enchanting. The nasone, or huge nose, the drinking fountain is located to the north of the piazza. The traditional Christmas market held in December that lasts until January 6 is another attraction.
The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, a spectacular fountain with an Egyptian obelisk and muscular representations of the rivers Ganges, Danube, Nile, and Plate, is its imposing focal point. Legend has it that the Nile statue is averting his gaze from the Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone, which was created by Bernini's enmity rival Borromini. In reality, the gesture only served to highlight the fact that the source of the Nile was not known at the time as Bernini finished his fountain two years before Borromini began work on the church's exterior. The Fontana del Moro, near the southern end of the square, was designed by Giacomo Della Porta in 1576, among other fountains. The Moor was added by Bernini in the middle of the 17th century, but the surrounding Tritons date back to 19th century. Additionally, the 19th-century Fontana del Nettuno at the northern end of the plaza features a battle between Neptune and a sea monster while being surrounded by sea nymphs.
The fountain known as La Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi, built-in 1651 for the pope, is the focal point of most photos taken in the Piazza. The fountain was created by Bernini, and taxes on basic foods like bread were used to pay for it. A tall Roman obelisk serves as the fountain's focal point, and four figures—one each for the Danube, Ganges, Niles, and Rio de la Plata—can be seen surrounding it. On the fountain's rock base are the pope's coat of arms, a dove, and an olive branch. The two additional fountains, which are smaller and located at the northern and southern ends, both have magnificent sculptures. In the 2009 movie adaptation of the best-selling Dan Brown book, Angels and Demons, Piazza Navona was a prominent location. Rome's other locations were also prominently featured in this well-known movie.
00186 Rome, Italy