Rome's Best Piazzas
Looking for the most relaxing places to sip an aperitivo in the Eternal City? Look no further than Rome's most stunning (and welcoming) piazzas!
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Rome's Enchanting Piazzas
One of the most enjoyable parts of a trip to Rome is whiling away a long, late evening with more than a few cocktails in one of the Eternal City's stunning piazzas. Depending on where you select, you may find cafes and tourists, or perhaps a more "local" piazza, chalk-full of ordinary Romans catching up with friends and family.
The Classic Piazza: Piazza Navona
Undoubtedly one of the most breath-taking piazzas in Rome, Piazza Navona is certainly one of the most storied. Begun as the Stadium of Domitian, you can still see the defined oval shaping that once demarcated the stadium's boundaries. In the Renaissance, already a public space, the Piazza received an extreme make-over at the hands of Pope Innocent X, whose ancestral home loomed large above the square.
The Piazza is actually home to three fountains, though the Fontana dei Quattro Fuimi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) is certainly the most famous. In perhaps the most awesome of all festivals, for nearly 200 years (1652-1866), the Piazza was regularly flooded on summer weekends for over-the-top boat displays, funded by the Pamphilis (family of the aforementioned Pope Innocent X).
These days, you'll find a fair number of tourists admiring the stunning fountains, along with several charming cafes, where you are welcome to have a sit, grab a cocktail, and watch the crowds! I vastly prefer the Piazza at night, when the crowds are more relaxed, the heat of the day is gone, and the dinner rush has ended. While I hate to paint with a broad brush, of course the restaurants in this highly touristy area are less likely to be "the best" - but definitely stop by for a quick drink!
The Quirky Piazza:
Though, I came to find later, it has been profiled in the New York Times, Madonna dei Monti has managed to remain one of the most unspoiled piazzas in Rome. Here, you'll find locals, young and old, having a cocktail, and you'll hear very little (if any) English/German/French, etc.
If a sit-down restaurant is more your style, several restaurants line the piazza - or grab some delicious, casual take-out at Pronto, the Italian version of Pret a Manger, to enjoy in the piazza.
The Historic Piazza: Piazza della Rotonda
But, don't forget to stop by the phenomenal Piazza della Rotonda after hours, when the square is packed with Romans enjoying their evening. The Pantheon is certainly shown to best advantage when alight with spotlights and the moon. It's definitely a bit more "touristy" than some of the others on this list, just because it's so centrally located, and surrounding such a major tourist attraction. You'll see your fair share of people selling trinkets, etc., but don't let that deter you from exploring Piazza della Rotonda at night. And, of course, it's far less touristy at night than during the day!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Great post. I love it how you always do proper research. Our favourite square must be Piazza Navona. We usually try to book a hotel nearby (mainly because we have come across a few good restaurants in the area).
Aww thanks so much, as always, Stefan!! I appreciate it :)
Love, love, love Rome! Thanks for sharing!
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