Piazza Navona – Where Four Rivers Meet

In general, this is how I felt about Rome: it was definitely a sight-seeing city. Rome is full of ancient ruins, architecture, and monuments. It was allllll about seeing (and eating, no complaints there). Piazza Navona was one of the many sites that I saw in the Eternal City.

It was a large, oval-shaped public piazza with a few notable fountains within. Below, I’m sitting before the Fontana del Moro.

In the center of the piazza stands the most famous fountain, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Fountain of the Four Rivers, Rome
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

At the base are sculptures of four river gods that collectively represent four major rivers of the four continents through which papal authority had spread: the Nile representing Africa, the Danube representing Europe, the Ganges representing Asia, and the Río de la Plata representing the Americas.

Sitting in front of Ganges

It was a beautiful (and crowded) fountain whose sculptural symbols eluded me at the time. Now I can see Ganges carrying a long oar, which represents the river’s navigability. More cool symbolism is revealed on Wiki. 😀 Funny how I learn more about a place after I visited it!

Fountain of the Four Rivers at Night
Another shot of the fountain, now at night

Finally, the third fountain in the piazza that balances Fontana del Moro on the other side: Fountain of Neptune.

Fountain of Neptune, Piazza Navona Rome

While I thought the fountains beautiful, I found the history of the oval-shaped piazza even more interesting. Its form follows the open space of Stadium of Domitian on which it was built. The stadium was mostly used for athletic competitions, but even cooler – chariot racing. Hence, the oval-shaped track. Oh and did I mention how I saw deep grooves in the ground created by ancient chariots near the Colosseum? Well I did!

Piazza Navona Rome
Beautiful architecture all around the piazza
Piazza Navona Rome
Must I mention again how well Europeans decorate with flowers?

Have you been to Rome? What great sights did you see?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Go on a virtual sight-seeing tour: The Colossal Colosseum, Ancient Ruins: Roman Forum

  • Beautiful photos! Piazza Navona was one of my favorite spots to visit in Rome – but I had absolutely no idea it was once a chariot racing stadium (doh!)!

    • Thanks! It was something that our tour director “unofficially” told us – otherwise they’d get in trouble for doing something that only tour guides can do.

  • These photos are absolutely gorgeous! I am literally so excited about visiting Rome for the first time in October with my soon-to-be-husband on our honeymoon – this post is perfect! xx

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