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.
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!
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?
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.
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
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.
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