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Piazza Navona: more than a square, a theater

must heritage

Transformed at the request of Pope Innocent X in 1650, Piazza Navona, the largest square in the city, is a successful Baroque stage on which Rome is the main subject.

Piazza Navona is like an extravagant theatre of the Baroque, but also of the rivalry that opposed its principal architects Borromini and Bernini. Visitors here are as much actors as spectators. An oblong plane whose form is inherited from the ancient track of the Stadium of Domitian, its decor is a harmonious trio of fountains, the most beautiful, the Fountain of the Four Rivers, symbolising the four continents (Europe, Africa, Asia and America) and overlooking a Roman obelisk.

Perhaps you will see here the illustration of the Apostolic Blessing of Urbi et orbi given to ‘the city of Rome and to the entire world' by the Roman Pontiff on certain solemn occasions. Take a table on the terrace of Tre Scalini to better contemplate this masterpiece of Bernini, while savouring another masterpiece, just as strikingly composed, and just as Baroque: the tantalising tartufo ice cream dessert. The marble floor is polished to a gleaming shine by the comings and goings of onlookers; and the sun is reflected in the ochre- and sienna-coloured facades: this is definitely Rome.

Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
00186 Roma

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