Rome - Around Town : Around Piazza Navona (part 2) - Best of the Rest

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A Morning around Piazza Navona

Start in the courtyard of the Sapienza, marvelling at the remarkable façade of Sant’Ivo (see Sant’Ivo). Head around the church’s right side and out the back exit on to Via della Dogana Vecchia. If you need a morning pick-me-up, turn left and then right into Piazza Sant’Eustachio (if the namesake church is open, pop in for an early 18th-century interior). In the elongated piazza to the left are fine views of Sant’Ivo’s dome and two great cafés to choose from, Camillo and Sant’ Eustachio.

Return to Via della Dogana Vecchia and turn right to visit the Caravaggio works inside San Luigi dei Francesi (see San Luigi dei Francesi). Continue up the street to Via delle Coppelle and turn left for more Caravaggio at Sant’Agostino. Continue into Piazza delle Cinque Lune and walk a few yards to the left down Corso del Rinascimento (see Sant’Ivo) and browse the quality liqueurs and old-fashioned beauty products, all made by monks.

Around the corner is Palazzo Altemps, now full of Classical statuary. Spend a good hour inside. Then relax from the morning’s sightseeing with a stroll amid the street performers and splashing fountains of Piazza Navona (see Piazza Navona). Enjoy a tartufo ice cream or a full lunch at the wonderful Tre Scalini (see Tre Scalini), before ending the morning window-shopping along the antiques of Via dei Coronari (see Via dei Coronari).

Best of the Rest

  1. Sant’Agnese in Agone

    This church was built in honour of a 13-year-old girl who was stripped in a brothel but whose hair miraculously grew to cover her nakedness. Borromini’s façade is a wonderful play of concave and convex shapes.

    • Piazza Navona

    • Open 9am–noon, 4–7pm Tue–Sun

    • Free

    St Agnes statue, Sant’Agnese in Agone
  2. Domitian’s Stadium

    The outline of this AD 86 stadium is echoed in Piazza Navona, built on top of its remains.

    • Piazza di Tor Sanguigna

    • 06 6710 3819

    • Open special occasions and by request

    • Adm

  3. Via dei Coronari

    Lined with antiques shops, this street is at its torch-flickering best during the May and October antiques fairs .

  4. Palazzo Pamphilj

    This 17th-century palace has a wonderful Pietro da Cortona fresco upstairs.

    • Piazza Navona 14

    • Open by appointment only

    • Free

    Palazzo Pamphilj
  5. Chiesa Nuova

    Pietro da Cortona painted the dome and apse and Rubens three sanctuary canvases for this 1575 church.

    • Piazza della Chiesa Nuova/Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

    • Open 8am–noon, 4:30–7pm daily

    • Free

  6. Palazzo Braschi

    The last papal family palace, built 1791–1811. Cosimo Morelli used a Renaissance design to match the piazza. Inside is a small museum dedicated to Roman history.

    • Via San Pantaleo 10

    • Open 9am–7pm Tue–Sun

    • Adm

  7. Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi

    A Baroque gem of a church. Out front is the Torre della Scimmia, a rare remnant of medieval Rome.

    • Via dei Portoghesi

    • 8:30am–1pm, 3–6pm

    • Free

  8. Santa Maria dell’Anima

    Highlights in this gilded church are a Giulio Romano altarpiece and Peruzzi’s Hadrian VI tomb (1523).

    • Vicolo della Pace 20

    • Open 7:30am–1pm, 2– 6pm daily

    • Free

  9. Museo Napoleonico

    A collection of paintings, furnishings and objets d’art that once belonged to the extensive Bonaparte clan.

    • Piazza di Ponte Umberto I

    • Open 9am–7pm Tue–Sun

    • Adm

  10. San Salvatore in Lauro

    A chapel in this church houses da Cortona’s Adoration of the Shepherds (1630).

    • Piazza S Salvatore in Lauro 15

    • Open 8am–1:30pm, 4:30–7pm Mon–Sat, 4:30–7pm Sun

    • Free

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