November 03, 2014

A Taste of Rome on Piazza Navona

The highlight of my visit to Rome last summer was dinner on Piazza Navona, one of the city's most popular squares. Located in Rome's centro storico, historic centre, the square takes its oblong shape and dimensions from the Stadium of Domitian which originally stood here.

Piazza Navona, Rome

Piazza Navona is perhaps best known for its three beautiful fountains. At the north end of the piazza stands the Fontana del Nettuno, Fountain of Neptune, featuring the sea god Neptune in battle with an octopus.

Fountain of Neptune, Piazza Navona

At the south end of the square is the Fontana del Moro, Fountain of the Moor, with an African wrestling a dolphin.

Fountain of the Moor, Piazza Navona

In the centre of Piazza Navona stands the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fountain of the Four Rivers, designed by the great Baroque architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain is topped by an Egyptian obelisk.

Fountain of the Four Rivers, Piazza Navona

Egyptian Obelisk

The figures seated at the base of the obelisk represent the great rivers of the four continents that were known in the 1600's: Europe, Asia, Africa and America. (The photos below are arranged moving around the fountain counter-clockwise, beginning with the Danube.)

The Danube (Europe)

The Danube (centre)
Fountain of the Four Rivers

The Ganges (Asia)

The Ganges (right)
Fountain of the Four Rivers

The Nile (Africa)

The Nile (right)
Fountain of the Four Rivers

The Rio de la Plata (America)

Rio de la Plata (left)
Fountain of the Four Rivers

After strolling the piazza we dined outdoors near the fountain at Ristorante-Pizzeria 4 Fiumi. The tasting menu of authentic Roman cuisine was selected specially for us by our Insight tour director.

Ristorante-Pizzeria 4 Fiumi, Piazza Navona

Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed:

Prosciutto e melone
(Parma ham and melon)

Prosciutto and Melon

Pomodoro e Bufala
(tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella)

Tomatoes and Mozzarella


(toasted bread with tomatoes)


Verdura Grigliata

(grilled vegetables - eggplant & zucchini)

Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

(eggplant baked with tomato and parmesan)

Eggplant Parmigiana

Carciofi alla Giudia
(Jewish-style artichokes)
Fiori di Zucca Fritti
(fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy)

Jewish-Style Artichokes (left) and Fried Zucchini Flowers (right)

Saltimbocca alla Romana

(veal escalope with parma ham in white wine)

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Dinner on Piazza Navona was a delicious way to spend my last night in Rome and I was able to satisfy another item from my Bucket List.

Next:  Naples and Campania

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