The best of the best Piazzas in Rome

Imagine it’s a hot Roman summer’s day, you’ve spent the morning exploring ancient ruins, museums and art, and let’s face it, as beautiful as it all is, sightseeing is exhausting! Sitting down with a cappuccino or gelato watching the crazy Italian world go by is sounding really really good right now… but where to go? You’ll often find a a break sat outside a charming little café in a piazza will do just the job. For times like these make sure you know where to find the best of the best piazzas in Rome.

Piazza Navona, Rome Photo: xiquinhosilva of Flickr

Piazza Navona, Rome

Best for Tourists – Piazza Navona

This large piazza in the heart of the historic centre (actually dating back to the 15th century) is well loved by locals and tourists alike. Although there’s no denying that the piazza has been invaded by hopeful artists, entertainers and sellers ready to cash in on tourists’ holiday money, you can’t ignore that it does still hold a certain magical charm. The piazza is always full of colourful characters and the lively atmosphere makes it the perfect place to sit back and watch the world go by!

Vegetables in the market at Campo d'Fiori, Rome Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Vegetables in the market at Campo d’Fiori, Rome

Best for Romance – Campo de’Fiori

The name of this delightful little piazza translates to ‘a field of flowers’, as believe it or  not, it was once actually a field of flowers on the outskirts of Rome, rather than a central piazza in the heart of the city. The square is known for regularly holding a small fruit and veg market by day and for its upmarket restaurants and pizzerias by night. It’s a popular spot for love struck couples as well as groups of friends who are looking to enjoy a trendy drink or two. This area of Rome is very popular amongst the locals and is a great place to stay if you want to see an authentic side to the city. If you want to go one better and truly live as the Romans do, why not stay in one of the many Rome apartments for rent?

View from The Dome of St Peter's Basilica Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

View from The Dome of St Peter’s Basilica

The best view – Piazza San Pietro

Ok, so perhaps you won’t be coming here to sit back and relax; a visit to the holy Vatican City is a top attraction for most and for some it’s the sole purpose of their visit. Piazza San Pietro is the gathering point for those wishing to catch a glimpse of the Pope who makes regular appearances on the balcony overlooking the square. It’s a really magical experience as long as you don’t mind big crowds.

Turtle fountain in Piazza Mattei Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Turtle fountain in Piazza Mattei

The best fountain – Piazza Mattei

On first sight Piazza Mattei’s may seem like one of the many squares in Rome, not particularly standing out from the crowd. However before you carry on with your Roman adventure, let your eyes fall on the square’s centrepiece – the rather unusual fountain. There have been several theories about the choice of man and turtle supporting the great water basin. The truth is that originally the fountain was supposed to be decorated by dolphins, not turtles; however there was an unfortunate lack of water pressure and so the dolphins were removed and replaced by an altogether chunkier animal – the turtle. And thus was born ‘la Fontana delle Tartarughe’.

More things to enjoy in Rome

Street entertainment in Piazza Navona – in Rome
The view from the dome of St Peter’s – in Rome
The Turtle fountain – in Rome

Photo credits: Piazza Navona, Rome by xiquinhosilva, other photos by Heatheronhertravels.com

My thanks for this article to Oh-Rome with apartments and accommodation in Rome to help you see the city like a local.


heatheronhertravels' Rome - St Peter's Basilica photoset heatheronhertravels’ Rome – St Peter’s Basilica photoset


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  • Reply
    March 19, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Nice article, keep posting more.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I can’t wait to go to italy! lovely little guide, makes me so excited about all the rest of Europe I have left to explore.

    • Reply
      March 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      @Izy – so pleased that you found this interesting – hope it inspires you to visit Rome

  • Reply
    Brock - Backpack With Brock
    March 24, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Awesome pictures and suggestions!
    Brock – Backpack With Brock´s last blog post ..“You Searched It” – The Bizarre Ways People Find My Blog

  • Reply
    Donna Hull
    March 26, 2012 at 1:10 am

    I’ve only been to Rome once, but I have fond memories of Piazza Navona and Piazza San Pietro. I think it’s about time to return to Italy to explore some of the other piazzas that you’ve described in your post.

    • Reply
      March 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      @Donna Yes, I enjoyed both of these piazzas, each has its own atmosphere

  • Reply
    March 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Hi. I just started a travel blog icravehistory.blogspot.in, it would be great to receive any advice from you

    • Reply
      March 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      @Mirza – good luck with your blog, I’d say lots of great photos combined with interesting stories from the places you feature as well as any useful tips for visitors will get you readers. Take a look at my other website about how to build a better travel blog at mybloggingjourney.com and there is a free report there about how to use images on your blog.

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