Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Beauty of Piazza Navona

The foundations of the building surrounding the elongated oval of Piazza Navona were the ruined grandstands of the vast Stadium of Domitian. The piazza still provides a dramatic spectacle today with the obelisk of the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumu in front of the church of Sant' Agnese in Agone as its focal point. 

The predominant style of the area is Baroque, many of its finest buildings dating from the reign of Innocent X (1644-55), patron of Bernini and Borromini. 

No other piazza in Rome can rival the theatricality of Piazza Navona. Day and night there is always something going on in the pedestrian area around its three flamboyant fountains. 

Up until the 19th century, Piazza Navona was flooded during August by stopping the fountains outlets. The rich would hence splash around in their carriages. Today, with its numerous shops restaurants and cafes, the piazza is a favourite in all seasons. During the summer months it is busy with street entertainers, while in winter it fills with colourful stalls selling toys and sweets for the feast of the Befana. 

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