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Walking Tour of Piazza Navona in Rome

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Piazza Navona Overview
rome, piazza navona, picture

Rome, Piazza Navona. The Piazza is built on the plan of the Roman Circus Domitianus.

© 2006 by Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com
Originally built as a stadium in the first century for athletic contests and chariot races, Piazza Navona is lined with luxurious cafes and Baroque palaces and is the home to three lavish fountains. It was laid out in the 15th century on the ruins of the stadium. From 1650 to the late 19th century the square was sometimes flooded in summer and used for aquatic games and staged naval battles. The square still retains its oval shape. The obelisk at the far end of the picture came from Egypt and was originally in the Circus of Maxentius but later moved to Piazza Navona.

The modern piazza is a lively place, a place where both locals and tourists like to hang out. Artists gather in the sqaure to paint and there are many entertainers and vendors selling souvenirs. At night the square is packed with people but if you want to really appreciate the beauty of the square itself, it's best to go in early morning to avoid the crowds.

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