Things to see
During the 15th century a large and important market used to occupy the square. Nowadays many artists set up shop on this touristic and pedestrian piazza, which is still one of the most animated Roman squares in the city. There are three fountains in Piazza Navona: the Fountain of the Four Rivers, which was built by the architect Bernini, is located just in the center of the square, in front of the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. The center of the fountain is composed of an Egyptian obelisk surrounded by four statues, each character representing a river from a different continent. These are the Danube in Europe, the Nile in Africa, the Rio de la Plata in the Americas and the Ganges in Asia.
The two other fountains that were built on the square are the Fontana del Nettuno (“Fountain of Neptune”) situated in the northern part, and the Fontana del Moro (“Moor Fountain”) situated in the southern part of the square. The Fountain of Neptune is also known as “Calderari” and was built in 1576 by Giacomo della Porta, who also built the Moor Fountain. The central statue with the dolphin was added by Bernini during the 17th century.
The second most important building of the Piazza Navona is the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. This church was built in honor of the martyr who was persecuted at the 6th century because she was a Christian. It is a Baroque church built during the 17th century by Borromini. Next to Sant’Agnese is the Palace Pamphili, which was renovated and expanded by Pope Innocent X as it was the palace he and his family lived in. Nowadays, the Brazilian embassy occupies this palace.