four river fountain

Piazza Navona is a square that was built on what used to be Domitian’s stadium (Circus Domitianus), which is why the piazza is shaped the way it is. 

Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy


                     Acqua Divina Della Roma (Fountains of Rome)

For more than two thousand years fountains have provided drinking water and decorated the piazzas of Rome. During the Roman Empire, in 98 AD, according to Sextus Julius Frontinus, the Roman consul who was named curator aquarum or guardian of the water of the city, Rome had nine aqueducts which fed 39 monumental fountains and 591 public basins, not counting the water supplied to the Imperial household, baths and owners of private villas. Each of the major fountains was connected to two different aqueducts, in case one was shut down for service.[2]

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the aqueducts were wrecked or fell into disrepair, and the fountains stopped working. In the 14th century, Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455), a scholar who commissioned hundreds of translations of ancient Greek classics into Latin, decided to embellish the city and make it a worthy capital of the Christian world. In 1453 he began to rebuild the Acqua Vergine, the ruined Roman aqueduct which had brought clean drinking water to the city from eight miles (13 km) away. He also decided to revive the Roman custom of marking the arrival point of an aqueduct with a mostra, a grand commemorative fountain. He commissioned the architect Leon Battista Alberti to build a wall fountain where the Trevi Fountain is now located. Alberti restored, modified, and expanded the aqueduct that supplied both the Trevi Fountain as well as the famous baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Navona.[3]

One of the first new fountains to be built in Rome during the Renaissance was the Fountain in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere (1499), which was placed on the site of an earlier Roman fountain. Its design, based on an earlier Roman model, with a circular vasque on a pedestal pouring water into a basin below, became the model for many other fountains in Rome, and eventually for fountains in other cities, from Paris to London

Selected Fountains:

1. Trevi Fointain

2. Fontane delle Tartarughe (The Turtle Fountain) 

3. Fountain of the Four Rivers

4. Tritan Fountain 

5.Neptune’s Fountain

6. Villa Sciarra Fountain

7. Fontana della Barcaccia

8. Fontana Delle Api

My favorite spot in Rome. The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) was designed by Bernini and represents four major rivers in four different continents under the Pope’s authority. 

Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

Rome by Foot: Four Amazing Walks
By Andrew Sessa

The Italian capital is one of the world’s great walking cities. Indeed, roaming around Rome on foot—or a piedi, as the locals say—proves the best way to see the sites. It encourages you and your family to engage with all the Eternal City has to offer, and allows you to share these experiences with your fellow travelers. Now’s an ideal time to go, too, as the summer season swings into action and the dollar remains strong against the euro. Here are four suggested walks that show off different, but equally enticing, sides of the city.

Baroque fountains, piazzas and churches
Campo Marzio and beyond

To explore the architecture of Rome’s Baroque Centro, start at the city’s northern gate, in Piazza del Popolo, then walk south on shop-lined Via del Babuino and ivy-hung Via Margutta to Piazza di Spagna, marveling at the Spanish Steps, boat-like fountain, and twin towers of Trinità dei Monti church.

Keep reading