PIAZZA NAVONA AND SURROUNDINGS, 4 PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED

PIAZZA NAVONA AND SURROUNDINGS, 4 PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED

Any excuse is good for taking a trip.
The anniversary, a long bridge, a free weekend, holidays, a birthday.
“Collect moments not things”.

I take this phrase at its word, and if I can on my birthday I want to spend it around somewhere, discovering a new place or returning to one already visited to look at it with new eyes after some time.
So in September last year I gave myself a long weekend in Rome.

It wasn’t my first time, but Rome is always worth a visit, no matter how short it is. I liked the idea of ​​going back with my baby, even if the baby isn’t anymore …

I spent some wonderful days in the city, with the sun beside it to retrace history and charm, but … I would lie saying that it was all beautiful, because in reality since the last time I was there it seemed to me changed, chaotic, unapproachable in some points.

But we always try to see the beautiful side of things, so as to push some small inconvenience into the background. I took the time to discover the city slowly, without haste.

I had the apartment a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona and it was an excellent starting point for visiting the surroundings, for example …

Piazza Navona (early in the morning).
He who sleeps does not catch fish … and I would not catch any, but sometimes getting up early in the morning has its reason. Piazza Navona is inevitably always crowded, except in the early hours of the day, when the newly risen sun gives it a magnificent light and taking a walk becomes something unique and for a select few!
One of the most beautiful squares, built over the old stadium of Domitian, of which it has preserved the rectangular shape.
The most beautiful fountain? For me that of the four rivers where Bernini sculpted the four statues representing the Nile, the Danube, the Ganges and the Rio de la Plata. Bernini was Borromini’s enemy, and legend (or truth?) Tells that the statue of the Danube carved in front of the church of Sant’Agnese, by Borromini, has his hand raised to protect himself from the danger of imminent collapse … what jokers !
The stadium of Domitian
The remains of the stadium of Domitian are located under Piazza Navona, more or less four and a half meters below the road surface. The archaeological area can be visited and is what remains of the only masonry stadium known up to now. Thanks to an audio guide, also available in a version for children, the history of sport and sporting practices from ancient Greece to Imperial Rome is illustrated, focusing on the history of the stadium and the square. The most important of competitions, the race, was held in the stadium. In fact it had a circus shape that is two long parallel sides, one short curved and the other slightly oblique. The stands for the public were divided into superimposed sectors and could accommodate up to thirty thousand people.

Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza
The dome of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza is a masterpiece by Borromini, simply beautiful, perfect without having to find other adjectives to define it.
The church is located inside the homonymous building as well as the oldest Roman university, and is set in the courtyard where the Baroque style masters and glues the visitor. After being upside down inside, do it outside too, the lantern that completes the dome is something unique!
St. Louis of the French
Between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon is this small church, the splendor of Baroque art and home to three masterpieces by Caravaggio.
The church was built in 1518 to house the growing community of French that was being created in Rome. It houses sculptures of illustrious personalities of France including that of Charlemagne, but if you allow me, for me the real beauty lies in the works of the great Master Caravaggio inside the Contarelli Chapel: the triptych composed of the Martyrdom of St. Matthew, The Vocation of San Matteo and San Matteo and the Angel.
Those who read me habitually know that I am not crazy about churches, but if they contain works of art of a certain level, for me they are unmissable stops.
St. Louis of the French
Between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon is this small church, the splendor of Baroque art and home to three masterpieces by Caravaggio.
The church was built in 1518 to house the growing community of French that was being created in Rome. It houses sculptures of illustrious personalities of France including that of Charlemagne, but if you allow me, for me the real beauty lies in the works of the great Master Caravaggio inside the Contarelli Chapel: the triptych composed of the Martyrdom of St. Matthew, The Vocation of San Matteo and San Matteo and the Angel.
Those who read me habitually know that I am not crazy about churches, but if they contain works of art of a certain level, for me they are unmissable stops.

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