The ultimate guide to Piazza Navona and its surroundings
One of Rome’s most enchanting neighbourhoods, all centered around the spectacle that is Piazza Navona. It is perfect for daytime strolling, shopping and cafes, as well as an evening out for aperitivo, dinner and late night drinks. You will always find a mix of locals among visiting tourists, creating an ambiance of movement and excitement. Not to mention, its winding streets surrounding the piazza are the perfect exemplar of Rome’s charm and quaintness, filled with shops, cafes, bars and gelaterias. And the best part is that just footsteps away you’ll also find the Pantheon, Piazza di Pietra and jaw-dropping churches to explore. If you’re on a shopping spree, don’t miss out on Via del Governo Vecchio’s independent stores, while if you’re on the hunt for some wonderful antiques, Via dei Coronari is a must-stop!
Here’s our guide to the Piazza Navona neighbourhood’s top spots.
THE PIAZZA NAVONA EXPERIENCE
Explore Rome & Piazza Navona at sunrise
Pick-up at hotel/accommodation
Duration: 3 hours
Explore Rome in its full splendour while it’s still asleep and get a jump start on the day. Catch the Trevi Fountain with nobody standing next to you in the photo. Walk in Piazza Navona or climb the Spanish steps completely deserted. Enjoy a cappuccino and an Italian croissant while the dome of the Vatican is highlighted by the rising sun. Pictures will be amazing with first the moon and then the sun coming up.
Explore Rome & Piazza Navona by bike
Via Labicana, 49
Duration: 4 hours
Easily cycle between ancient monuments and elegant shopping streets, Baroque squares and Renaissance palaces, and beautiful fountains and churches housing innumerable masterpieces. This guided bike tour provides the perfect introduction to your stay in Rome. The itinerary touches on Rome’s main attractions without omitting its smaller, local features.
Squares & fountains of Rome
Duration: 3 hours
Walk down the roads where Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raffaello and Bernini walked. Experience Rome with a local walking guide on this fantastic tour where you will enjoy the most famous squares and fountains of the city. Rome is much more than just the Colosseo, the Vatican or the Trevi Fountain. In fact, it’s made up of the traditions and stories of the lives and experiences of so many people that do not get mentioned in traditional guidebooks.
Experience Rome by night with a driver guide
Pick-up at hotel/accommodation
Duration: 3 hours
Is Rome more beautiful at night or during the day? We still don’t know! That’s why you can’t miss out on this Rome by Night driver-guided tour that covers the major highlights of Rome. From Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps, get ready to explore the Eternal City by night.
Stroll through Piazza Navona
Arguably one of the most famous piazzas in Rome, Piazza Navona is full of sensory beauty. From Renaissance architecture, running fountains, busy street vendors, and bustling cafes. It is equally beautiful both during the day and at night, but it is recommended to check it out at both times of the day for a completely unique experience. Don’t forget to stare in awe at Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi.
Visit the Chiesa di Sant’Agnese in Agone
Via di Santa Maria dell’Anima, 30/A,
Mon – Fri 9am-1pm, 3pm-7pm; Sat – Sun 9am-1pm, 3pm-8pm
Step inside this 17th Century Baroque style church and wonder at the original frescoes ceilings, as well as the architectural work of Girolamo Rainaldi, Carlo Rainaldi and Francesco Borromini.
Explore Santa Maria della Pace
Arco della Pace, 5
This former convent, now church, is a 15th Century architectural beauty that houses Raphael’s fresco, The Sibyls. Stop in as you wander the neighborhood to witness a true Italian Renaissance masterpiece, this is definitely not something to be missed.
Catch an exhibition at Chiostro del Bramante
Arco della Pace, 5
Just across the way from Santa Maria della Pace, this recently restored art museum is the perfect place to explore rotating art exhibitions. Get the chance to explore marvelous works of art inside the uniquely Donato Bromante-designed cloister.
Admire the Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda
Mon – Sat 8.30am-7.30pm; Sun 9am-6pm
Formerly a Roman temple, today it’s a church that is considered to be one of the most unique architectural structures in the world. The intersecting arches, dome and oculus make it still today a fascinating feature of the ancient Roman Empire.
See Caravaggio’s paintings at San Luigi dei Francesi
Piazza di S. Luigi de’ Francesi
Mon – Fri 9.30am- 12.45pm; Sat 9.30am-12.15pm; Sun 11.30am-12.45pm
One of Caravaggio’s most coveted pieces of art, The Calling of Saint Matthew, is on permanent display in this church. With a free entrance, there is no excuse to not check out this spectacular Baroque artwork.
Explore Palazzo Altemps
Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 46
Tue – Sun 9am-7pm
Take a chunk out of your afternoon to explore this 15th Century Palace, which now is home to the National Roman Museum. You will surely not be disappointed by their amazing collection of both Greek and Roman art.
Visit the Biblioteca Angelica
Piazza Sant’Agostino, 8
Mon, Fri, Sat 8.30am-1.45pm; Tues, Wed, Thurs 8.30am-7pm
Visitors must be over 16 years old. Guided group visits are available on Wed and Fri (9am-2pm)
Escape the busy streets around Piazza Navona into the quiet hallways of one of Rome’s oldest public libraries. The shelves hold close to 120,000 manuscripts that hold the historical key to the Reformation and Counter Reformation.
EATING around PIAZZA NAVONA
Giulio Passami L’Olio
Via di Monte Giordano, 28
Everyday 12pm – 2am
Always busy with Romans and visitors alike, this local, no fluff restaurant offers an excellent menu of traditional Italian items. It is a great place to get your local fix of carbonara, amatriciana, saltimbocca alla romana, and of course, tiramisu.
Via di Tor Millina, 27
This contemporary, Italian-Mediterranean restaurant is located on a bustling street just behind Piazza Navona, and is perfect for a unique dining experience. Indulge in their art inspired cocktails over creative dishes like seared tuna with citrus, chickpeas and red onion jam.
Ginger Sapori e Salute
Via Borgognona, 43-46 / Piazza di S. Eustachio, 54-55
Everyday 10am – 12am
This is the perfect stop for healthy, fresh and sustainable food options. With everything from smoothies, fresh pressed juices, salads, charcuterie platters, to sandwiches, it is great for a break from the typically assortment of pastas and pizzas.
Armando al Pantheon
Salita dei Crescenzi, 31
Mon-Sat 12.30pm – 2.45pm; Dinner Mon-Fri 7pm-11pm
This longtime restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from the Pantheon, and offers a true taste of homemade, hearty Roman cuisine. Dishes like trippa, fettuccine with chicken giblets, and house made ravioli give you a true taste of Rome’s local cuisine.
Via di Pietra, 74-77
A casual, but attentive wait staff, great music, and an outdoor garden provide this eatery an excellent ambiance that is just as great as their food. Think beginning 1900s New York style décor.
Piazza di Pietra, 45
For a casual osteria that serves up a fabulous seasonal menu grab a table inside amongst art decorated walls, or outside to enjoy the movement of Rome’s centro storico.
Ristorante 4 Fiumi
Piazza Navona, 37-38
If you’re looking for that picture perfect backdrop setting to enjoy a romantic evening on the town, look no further than 4 Fiumi Restaurant & Pizzeria. The restaurant is located in the heart of Piazza Navona’s café scene with a seating position that’s priceless, in front of Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers (hence the name of the restaurant).
Stop by on Via dei Coronari, 65-66, and watch Gelateria del Teatro’s gelato masters at work. Definitely try the almond and ricotta, walnut and fig, or zesty lemon! While on Via del Governo Vecchio, Frigidarium is the place! Don’t be scared off by the usual line, this creamy gelato is worth the wait. You can even choose from a white or dark chocolate shell or a dollop of fresh whipped cream!
DRINKING around PIAZZA NAVONA
Bar del Fico
Piazza del Fico, 2
Everyday 7.30am- 2am
Tucked away in a small piazza, this local watering hole has people spilling out into the piazza for a lively ambiance. It is the perfect spot to start out or wind down the evening with a range of craft cocktails and an excellent selection of wine by the glass.
Vicolo delle Vacche 9
Mon – Wed 9am-1am; Wed – Sat 9am-2am; Sun 9am-1am
A chic wine bar situated on one of Piazza Navona’s quaint, side streets, stop in for aperitivo or choose from their traditional, yet refined dinner menu. It is the perfect place to cozy up in their stylish leather decor as you sip cocktails by the fireplace.
Piazza di S. Pantaleo, 4
Everyday 12pm – 2am
Kick off the evening on the edge of the Piazza Navona neighborhood in this sleek, modern locale. Snag a hightop at the bar, and treat yourself to their delicious cocktails, Sommelier selected wines, and modern Mediterranean fare as you socialize with close friends.
Piazza di Pietra, 42
Everyday 10.30am – 2am
Sit amongst the stylish crowd in this trendy and intimate bar that features creative cocktails, superb wine and a consistently updated menu. It is no wonder this place is a favorite among locals, it is an ideal place for aperitivo and late night drinks alike.
Via della Vetrina, 15
Mon – Sat 8am-2am, Su 9am-2am
This is the perfect cafe for students and remote workers alike. Offering unique menu items like peanut butter and jelly bagels, superfood salads, pancakes, and of course, high speed Internet. It’s also the perfect place for aperitivo or an after dinner drink.
Vicolo delle Coppelle, 59
Just behind a hidden door, in the heart of Rome, lies a speakeasy full of lively Jazz music, mixologists, and vintage decor. Ring the doorbell to be greeted by a large mechanical door sliding open, and uncover the perfect locale for your nightcap.
The Gin Corner
Via di Pallacorda, 2
Fri – Sat 6pm-1am, Sun-Thur 6pm-12am
Being the first bar dedicated solely to gin in Italy, this innovative locale serves up an array of interesting mixology that utilises over 100 different types of international gins.
Piazza Capranica, 99
Thur-Fri 12.30pm-1am, Sat-Sun 12.30pm-4am
An elegant spot in the heart of Rome if you are in the mood to enjoy excellent wine and savor their contemporary and refined menu items. Think wine or cocktail aperitif accompanied by a perfectly paired assortment of fresh meats and cheeses.
Via Santa Maria dell’Anima, 30
Head to the fourth floor of Palazzo Pamphili to have your jaw drop as you admire the suggestive panorama from this stunning rooftop bar. Sip your cocktail, watch the sun set and relax, you know you deserve it.