They say all roads lead to Rome. Fortunately for us, that seems to be true.
But, because we had such a late connection and an 8 hour time change and we stopped in London for a few hours, we weren’t left with a lot of time on our first day, and to be honest – I didn’t really mind calling it an early night so we could get acclimated quickly. So our vacation officially began the day after we landed.
We walked all over Rome before finally ending up at Piazza Navona which is one of my favorite spots in the city. There’s always something going on – day or night, the square is filled with locals and tourists alike, all enjoying the lively atmosphere provided by artists, buskers, musicians and beautiful surroundings. Restaurants are filled with people enjoying great food.
Coming here definitely makes me think about my bestie. We’ve been travelling together for years and because of her, I’m so much more appreciative of local talent. Piazza Navona is definitely her scene – the artsy fartsy locals & buskers, street food… all up her alley & Gelato? We once walked in torrential downpour to find her Rose shaped Gelato in Budapest!
Anyways, we took a bunch of pictures of the fountains, checked out some of the local artwork being sold and then sat down for a drink while we people watched. It was such a nice break from our busy morning.
We ended up walking through the area a few times during our stay in Rome and every time there was something new and exciting. My favorite was a man who had this contraption and was filling the entire piazza with bubbles. Hundreds of them. The kids were chasing them, adults were mesmerized and everyone was laughing and it was truly magical ♥ I remember wishing that I could share the experience with my girls so I took a ton of pictures to show them when I got home. Definitely one of my highlights.
Our friends purchased some street art from one of the vendors and I wish I had as well.
We got to see a bunch of different musicians and they were all ssooo good! Here is a quick clip of one we had the opportunity to hear 🙂
One of the reasons that Piazza Navona is so popular is the fountains that are on display in the square. Not only are they gorgeous, but they each tell a story. I’m a bit of a nerd so I did a little research 🙂
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – Fountain of the Four Rivers
This fountain is definitely the main feature in Piazza Navona. The base of the fountain features four river gods, representing the four major rivers of the four continents known at the time. Centered is an Egyptian obelisk which dates back to 80 A.D.
The Nile – Representing Africa. The head is draped with a loose piece of cloth symbolizing that no one at that time knew exactle where the Nile’s source was.
The Danube – Representing Europe. This statue touches the Pope’s coat of arms.
The Ganges – Representing Asia. Featured is an oar, which symbolizes the river’s navigability.
Rio de la Plata – Representing the Americas. This statue is sitting on a pile of coins which is used to illustrate the riches America could offer.
Fontana del Moro – Moor Fountain
Created in 1575, this fountain originally featured four tritons and a dolphin, but in 1653, the statue of the Moor was added during a restoration. Behind the fountain is the Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore, a Catholic church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Together, they are quite striking. Or they usually are – Unfortunately the Church was under renovations while we were visiting so all we could see was a sheet indicating the church behind it.
Fontana del Nettuno – Fountain of Neptune
Located at the north end of the Piazza, this fountain was originally created without any statues. In 1878, over 300 years later, Neptune fighting an Octopus was added along with other mythological creatures called Nereids (sea nymphs), cupids and walruses.
There’s a lot of history regarding the commissioning of the fountains, but as a tourist, I think it gets a little dry so I won’t bore you with the details.
If you find yourself in Rome and you want a truly enjoyable experience, head to this square. You will not be disappointed ♥ unfortunately, that’s all I’ve got, so I hope you enjoyed this post, and I can’t wait to share more with you!