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To See: Piazza Navona

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Piazza Navona is situated in the historical center of Rome, west of the Pantheon. It is one of the most important and busy places and is always full of people who enjoy a walk, the terraces of the bars or the fountains that decorate it.

It is built on the old Domitian Stadium dating from 86 BC, hence its large oval shape.
In the 15th century the stadium was paved to create Piazza Navona, although there are still visible remains around the area.

The main attraction of this square are the three fountains that brighten the view of the pedestrians:

The Fountain of the Four Rivers

It is the central and largest source of the square. It was built between 1647 and 1651 at the request of Pope Innocent X. The person in charge of the design was the Italian sculptor, architect and painter Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The source represents the 4 rivers of each of the continents known at the time: Danube (Europe), Ganges (Asia), Nile (Africa) and Rio de la Plata (America). Crowning it, you can see an obelisk with Egyptian engravings, rescued from the Circus of Majencio.

The Fountain of Neptune

It is located at the north end of the square. It was built in 1576 by the Italian sculptor Giacomo della Porta. The statue of Neptune surrounded by the nymphs was added in the year 1878, creation of Della Bitta.

The Fountain of the Moor

Like the source of Neptune is the creation of Giacomo della Porta. It is located at the southern end of the square. The central statue that was added in the 17th century is Bernini and the surrounding newts were added in the 19th century.

Other attractions in this historic square are the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone (Saint Agnes in Agony) right next to The Fountain of the Four Rivers. It was commissioned in 1652 by Pope Innocent X and built on the site where according to legend, St. Agnes was forced to undress and miraculously grew her hair to cover her nakedness.
The structure of the church was the work of Girolamo and Carlo Rainaldi but a year later Barromini by order of the Pope demolished the main facade and made a new one. The interior decoration is Bernini's creation.

 

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