Piazza Navona Facts

Piazza Navona Facts
The Piazza Navona is a Baroque square in Rome, the remains of what was once a stadium called Circus Domitianus, built in 85 AD to host ancient Greek Agonal games were held. The piazza itself took its shape as the stadium's building crumbled over time. Piazza Navona is considered one of Rome's most beautiful squares, having three fountains, one of which is considered to be Bernini's greatest work - La Fontana Dei Fuimi. Piazza Navona is also unique in that it is extremely long when compared to other squares. In the second half of the 1400s, Piazza Navona became home to the market, and then in 1485 it was paved. It also became the place to hold processions and festivals.
Interesting Piazza Navona Facts:
Pope Innocent X started a tradition of covering the drains of the three fountains on Saturdays and Sundays in the 1600s, to allow people to enjoy the pooled water. It became known as "Lake of Piazza Navona". This tradition lasted for two centuries until 1866 when Pius IX put an end to the summer fun.
There is a legend of a ghost in the ancient palace around Piazza Navona, called Via dell'Anima. Under a full moon it is possible to see a hand shape in one of the palace windows. It is the hand of Costanza de Cupis, a woman whose perfect hand was amputated after becoming infected.
In the center of Piazza Navona is the Fountain of the Four Rivers, with an Egyptian obelisk.
The two other fountains in Piazza Navona include Fontana del Moro, and Fountain of Neptune.
Located at Piazza Navona's southwest end is Pasquino, the 'speaking' statue. It was erected in 1501 and was the place where Romans left comments, often about the pope.
In the 1800s the pavement level was raised and in 1869 the market was moved to Campo de' Fiori. However a Christmas market is still held in the Piazza Navona.
Piazza Navona is featured in scenes in the 2000 movie Angels and Demons, and in the 1964 movie Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow it is the setting of the main character's apartment. It is also featured in the 1970 movie Catch-22, and in the 1990 movie Coins in the Fountain.
On September 3rd, 2011, Fontana del Moro was damaged when a man decapitated several of the figures in the fountain.
Piazza Navona is considered by many to be Rome's second-favorite square after Saint Peter's.
Sant' Agnese in Agone Church, located at the edge of the center of Piazza Navone, is dedicated to a young girl Agnese who was killed there because she refused to return the affections of male suitors and devoted herself to Christianity. Several attempts to kill her failed and she was ultimately beheaded by an officer.
Other monuments flanking Piazza Navona include the palaces Palazzo Lancellotti, Pamphilj Palace, and Tuccimei Palace.
At Piazza Navona today there are a variety of cafes and restaurants, as well as souvenir vendors, artists, and entertainers. It is a major tourist attraction, and also hosts a Christmas market each year that is popular with residents and tourists, and especially children.

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