Welcome to 2015's A–Z Challenge. This year I'm taking you on a tour of one of my favourite cities!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

N – Navona

Piazza Navona
The Piazza Navona is a bustling place with diners eating al fresco and tourists wandering around, enjoying the spectacle of the fountains and statues.

Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) was built in 1651 and includes the Obelisk of Domitian. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty, and the 11th emperor of the Roman Empire. There are two other fountains – the Fontana del Moro and the Fontana del Nettuno.

This is an interesting area. Outside the ‘modern’ piazza are signs of the Stadio di Domiziano (Stadium of Domitian), which occupied this area before the new era brought fountains and sculptures to the city. Excavations have been left visible from the pavement and to the untrained eye you might believe you were just looking at the foundations of the relatively more modern 17th century Sant’Agnese in Agone (also called Sant’Agnese in Piazza Navona). 

Although I didn’t venture inside, I have seen photos of the shrine – and skull – of poor St Agnese. She wasn’t, apparently, in agony – Agone is from the Greek and means ‘in the site of the competitions’ – the stadium being built on a Greek model of a sporting arena.


  1. Every where one looks one sees history. This fountain is exploding with action and passion-Love it

    1. It's a wonderful area to explore. Last time I was there the fountains were covered for maintenance.

  2. I can imagine one would need to sit down and eat al fresco occasionally just to recover from one's art overload!

  3. I'm sure I'd love it there in Rome, and I'd like to see Florence, too.

  4. The first time I saw Piazza Navona it was pouring rain but I made it back and enjoyed much better weather. We had a wonderful Roman dinner at one of the restaurants on the square. It was one of the highlights of my trip to Italy last summer.

  5. So much antiquity and art to take in - how wonderful that you have gotten to enjoy several trips.
    Happy A to Zing
    I'm at Moondustwriter

  6. What a great theme and I love your post on the Piazza Navona, Helen. It's a beautiful place to pause and watch the world go by. :)
    Look forward to the rest of your A-Z posts.


  7. Gorgeous! I remember this!