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What & where to eat in Rome: Piazza Navona

Where to eat: the best of  Piazza Navona restaurants

Would you like to know what to do and where to eat? Here you are some tips about places to visit. Take notes of a short list of the best restaurants near Piazza Navona.

Around Navona Square.

This area is one of the most touristic Roman squares. Pay attention on bars and restaurants near Piazza Navona, because they can offer touristic menu at touristic prices.
Please, remember: everywhere in Rome but especially in front of historical sites you could pay more if you sit outside. For example, a coffee inside a bar costs 1 euro, however, if you sit outside , the bill could easily be 3 or 4 euros.

It’s the same for restaurants. Of course, if you’d like to sit outside and enjoy the beauty of the squares and the wonderful atmosphere, pay attention on the costs.

For your Happy Hour time:

Cul de Sac (Piazza Pasquino 73), a wine bar with a wide selection of wines;

Circus (Via Della Vetrina 15), a nice vintage place famous for brunch and happy hour;

Etablì (Vicolo delle Vacche 9/9A), a small trendy restaurant and wine bar with typical Roman cuisine.

Best Restaurant in the area:

Certainly a mention goes to Casa Bleve (Via del Teatro Valle 48). Not only the elegant  Restaurant is stunnig, but the food is amazing. Great wine list.

If you are looking for a nice restaurant Casa Coppelle (Piazza delle Coppelle 49) is for you. This is a very elegant restaurant, close to the Pantheon but not so far from Piazza Navona too.

Ristorante Grano (Piazza Rondanini 53), a typical Italian restaurant,  creative and a little bit different from the usual.
If you want to eat in a typical Italian Trattoria, there are two amazing places in this area: Da Tonino (Via del Governo Vecchio 18).

Alfredo&Ada (Via dei Banchi Nuovi 14). Here you can taste the real Roman cuisine, homemade.
If you want to taste an artisanal gelato, you should try Frigidarium (Via del Governo Vecchio 112) and La Gelateria del Teatro (Via dei Coronari 65).

Piazza Navona: a little bit of history

During the Roman Age, Piazza Navona was a Stadium, “Stadio Domizio”, built by the emperor Domiziano in 85 AD. It was the biggest stadium of Rome and it could host 30.000 spectators.

Still today, below the square, you can see the ancient stadium, together with a sport museum. For centuries the square was closed and filled with water, in order to provide a fresh place for citizens.
When the city market moved  here from the Campidoglio, in 15th Century, the squarebecome a public space.  Piazza Navona become into a highly significant example of Baroque Roman architecture and art during the pontificate of Innocent X. The Pope, reigned from 1644 until 1655, and whose family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili, faced the piazza.

Magnificent.

The square features important sculptural and architectural creations: in the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

This super famous fountain, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius in the middle of the square.

The church of Sant’Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini is a magnificent scenery.
Piazza Navona has two other fountains. At the southern end is the Fontana del Moro with a basin and four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta (1575). In 1673, Bernini added a statue of a Moor, or African, wrestling with a dolphin. At the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune (1574) likewise the previous, by Giacomo della Porta. The statue of Neptune, by Antonio Della Bitta, was added in 1878 to create a balance with La Fontana del Moro.
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 Augustto celebrate the Pamphilj family. The pavement level was raised in the 19th century, and in 1869 the market was moved to the nearby Campo de’ Fiori.

When to go

This is the perfect area for a walk every day, every time of the day.

In the morning and in the afternoon the square hosts a lot of street performers and artists. Some artists selling paintings and portraits. In the late afternoon and evening the atmosphere becomes sparkling and, as you maybe can imagine, this square becomes the perfect place for a typical Italian aperitivo.

How to reach Piazza Navona

Getting to Piazza Navona is very easy: you can take buses and then walk for like 200/400 m. The number of buses you can take are: 64, 46, 571, 492, 62, 628, 70, 81, 87, 916 and C3.
If you want to come here at night, there are fewer buses, but still some: n15, n20, n5, n6 and n7.

Contact us

Any enquiry about this article? Write to Federica at love@ gourmetaly.com. Federica is a local foodie and insider, she was born in Rome and she studied foreign languages. Meet Federica and join one of our events.