Piazza Navona
Overview
 
Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian
Stadium of Domitian
The Stadium of Domitian , also known as the Circus Agonalis, was located to the north of the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy. The Stadium was commissioned around 80 AD by the Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus as a gift to the people of Rome, and was used mostly for athletic contests.- Construction and...

, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones ("games"), and hence it was known as 'Circus Agonalis' (competition arena). It is believed that over time the name changed to 'in agone' to 'navone' and eventually to 'navona'.
Defined as a public space in the last years of 15th century, when the city market was transferred to it from the Campidoglio, the Piazza Navona was transformed into a highly significant example of Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 Roman architecture and art during the pontificate of Innocent X, who reigned from 1644-1655, and whose family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili, faced onto the piazza.
Encyclopedia
Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian
Stadium of Domitian
The Stadium of Domitian , also known as the Circus Agonalis, was located to the north of the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy. The Stadium was commissioned around 80 AD by the Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus as a gift to the people of Rome, and was used mostly for athletic contests.- Construction and...

, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones ("games"), and hence it was known as 'Circus Agonalis' (competition arena). It is believed that over time the name changed to 'in agone' to 'navone' and eventually to 'navona'.

History

Defined as a public space in the last years of 15th century, when the city market was transferred to it from the Campidoglio, the Piazza Navona was transformed into a highly significant example of Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 Roman architecture and art during the pontificate of Innocent X, who reigned from 1644-1655, and whose family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili, faced onto the piazza. It features important sculptural and architectural creations: in the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or "Fountain of the Four Rivers" is a fountain in Rome, Italy, located in the urban square of the Piazza Navona...

 or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian artist who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age and also a prominent architect...

, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought here in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone
Sant'Agnese in Agone
Sant'Agnese in Agone is a seventeenth century Baroque church in Rome, Italy. It faces onto the Piazza Navona, one of the main urban spaces in the historic centre of the city and the site where the Early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian.The rebuilding of the...

 by Francesco Borromini
Francesco Borromini
Francesco Borromini, byname of Francesco Castelli was an architect from Ticino who, with his contemporaries, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, was a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture.A keen student of the architecture of Michelangelo and the ruins of...

, Girolamo Rainaldi
Girolamo Rainaldi
Girolamo Rainaldi was an Italian architect who worked on the whole in a conservative Mannerist style, often with collaborating architects, yet was a successful competitor of Bernini...

, Carlo Rainaldi
Carlo Rainaldi
Carlo Rainaldi was an Italian architect of the Baroque period.Born in Rome, Rainaldi was one of the leading architects of 17th century Rome, known for a certain grandeur in his designs. He worked at first with his father, Girolamo Rainaldi, a late Mannerist architect in Rome. After his father's...

 and others; and the aforementioned Pamphili palace
Palazzo Pamphilj
Palazzo Pamphilj, also spelled Palazzo Pamphili, is a palace facing onto the Piazza Navona in Rome. It was built between 1644 and 1650.Since 1920 the palace has housed the Brazilian Embassy in Italy, and in 1964 it became the property of the Federative Republic of Brazil.-History:In 1644, Cardinal...

, also by Girolamo Rainaldi, that accommodates the long gallery designed by Borromini and frescoed by Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona, by the name of Pietro Berrettini, born Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and also one of the key architects in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important decorator...

.

The Piazza Navona has two additional fountains: at the southern end is the Fontana del Moro
Fontana del Moro
La Fontana del Moro is a fountain located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy. It represents a Moor, or African , standing in a conch shell, wrestling with a dolphin, surrounded by four Tritons...

with a basin and four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta (1575) to which, in 1673, Bernini added a statue of a Moor, or African, wrestling with a dolphin, and at the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune
Fountain of Neptune, Rome
The Fontana del Nettuno is a fountain in Rome, Italy, located at the north end of the Piazza Navona. It was once called "Fontana dei Calderari" because it was located close to a small alley with blacksmith's workshops, makers of pots and pans and of other metal based businesses, all of them...

 (1574) created by Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta was an Italian architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica. He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.-Biography:...

. The statue of Neptune in the northern fountain, the work of Antonio Della Bitta, was added in 1878 to make that fountain more symmetrical with La Fontana del Moro in the south.

At the southwest end of the piazza is the ancient 'speaking' statue of Pasquino. Erected in 1501, Romans could leave lampoons or derogatory social commentary attached to the statue.

During its history, the piazza has hosted theatrical events and other ephemeral activities. From 1652 until 1866, when the festival was suppressed, it was flooded on every Saturday and Sunday in August in elaborate celebrations of the Pamphilj family. The pavement level was raised in the 19th century and the market was moved again in 1869 to the nearby Campo de' Fiori
Campo de' Fiori
Campo de' Fiori is a rectangular square near Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy, on the border of rione Parione and rione Regola. Campo de' Fiori, translated literally from Italian, means "field of flowers"...

. A Christmas market is held in the piazza.

Other monuments

  • Stabilimenti Spagnoli
  • Palazzo de Cupis
  • Palazzo Torres Massimo Lancellotti
  • Church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore
    Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore
    Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore is a Catholic church dedicated to the Virgin Mary located in Rome's Piazza Navona.- History :...

  • Palazzo Braschi (Museo di Roma)
  • Sant'Agnese in Agone
    Sant'Agnese in Agone
    Sant'Agnese in Agone is a seventeenth century Baroque church in Rome, Italy. It faces onto the Piazza Navona, one of the main urban spaces in the historic centre of the city and the site where the Early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian.The rebuilding of the...


Literature and films

  • The piazza is featured in Dan Brown
    Dan Brown
    Dan Brown is an American author of thriller fiction, best known for the 2003 bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Brown's novels, which are treasure hunts set in a 24-hour time period, feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories...

    's 2000 thriller Angels and Demons
    Angels and Demons
    Angels & Demons is a 2000 bestselling mystery-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published by Pocket Books. The novel introduces the character Robert Langdon, who is also the protagonist of Brown's subsequent 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code, and 2009 novel, The Lost Symbol...

    , in which the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
    Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
    The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or "Fountain of the Four Rivers" is a fountain in Rome, Italy, located in the urban square of the Piazza Navona...

     (The Fountain of the Four Rivers [i.e., the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile and the La Plata (Plate)]) is listed as one of the Altars of Science. During June 2008, Ron Howard
    Ron Howard
    Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American actor, director, and producer. He came to prominence as a child actor, playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later the teenaged Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for six years...

     directed several scenes of the film adaptation of Angels and Demons
    Angels and Demons
    Angels & Demons is a 2000 bestselling mystery-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published by Pocket Books. The novel introduces the character Robert Langdon, who is also the protagonist of Brown's subsequent 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code, and 2009 novel, The Lost Symbol...

    on the southern section of the Piazza Navona, featuring Tom Hanks
    Tom Hanks
    Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

    .
  • The piazza is featured in several scenes of director Mike Nichols
    Mike Nichols
    Mike Nichols is a German-born American television, stage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate...

    ' 1970 adaptation of Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

    's novel, Catch-22
    Catch-22
    Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century...

    .
  • The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi was used in the 1990 film Coins in the Fountain
    Coins in the Fountain
    Coins in the Fountain is a television film which was released on September 28, 1990. The film is based on the novel Coins in the Fountain by John H. Secondari, which was previously filmed in 1954 as Three Coins in the Fountain. It was directed by Tony Wharmby and written by Lindsay Harrison...

    . The characters threw coins into the fountain as they made wishes. The Trevi Fountain
    Trevi Fountain
    The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi rione in Rome, Italy. Standing 26 metres high and 20 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world....

     was used in the 1954 version
    Three Coins in the Fountain (1954 film)
    Three Coins in the Fountain is the 1954 film that introduced the song of the same name, which became an enduring standard. It tells the story of three American girls looking for romance in Rome while employed at the American Embassy...

     of the film.
  • Sophia Loren
    Sophia Loren
    Sophia Loren, OMRI is an Italian actress.In 1962, Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Two Women, along with 21 awards, becoming the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English-speaking performance...

    's character, Mara, lives in an apartment overlooking Piazza Navona in the second story of the 1964 Italian comedy film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ("ieri, oggi, domani").

Vandalism

In the early hours of Saturday, 3rd September 2011, the Fontana del Moro was damaged by a vandal. Police later found the man, who had been captured on security cameras climbing in the fountain, wielding a large rock and decapitating some of the smaller figures, after they recognised him by his sneakers.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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