By Jill Kammer
Rome thrives on outdoor life. Naturally, it is obvious that Rome has a lot of museums, restaurants as well as churches, theaters and many other kinds of indoor activates. But the places to see Rome that really shine are the many piazzas.
"Piazza" can be translated to mean public square. But the piazzas of Rome are unique from other famous cities because they are genuine places for lovers of outdoor art to gather and enjoy such beauty together.
Probably the finest location of Bernini's "Fountain of the Four Rivers" can be found at Navona. Four striking sculptures that Bernini's students executed are artistically arranged around a rocky mass at the center of the fountain which holds up an obelisk.. One of those stunning sculptures named "the Ganges" was created by Claude Poussin who went on to become a well known master as well.
This fountain is alive with a variety of life including a lion, a palm tree, a monster from the sea and a myriad of other figures all blended artfully together around the center of the fountain.
When this fountain was created, it was so expensive that Rome actually put taxes on bread to fund the work. This resulted in loud complaints from every level of Roman society. That scandal is now part of the lore of this artwork to enhance the fun of relaxing and enjoying a coffee as the bustling metropolis goes by.
You only need to cross the piazza to find the mighty sea god Triton riding a powerful dolphin in the Fountain of the Moor. This is an ideal location to watch the locals and tourists wander by or just bask in the Roman sun while you discuss where you will visit next. You will have a diverse selection of things to do in addition to taking in one of Rome's delightful outdoor fountains.
For example, scattered throughout the many Roman cafes and restaurants are dozens of merchant kiosks. Many Italian artists dot the piazza, ready to sketch your portrait to give you a lovely souvenir of your visit.
There is no shortage of nightlife that continues non-stop until the sun comes up. At any time you might encounter a mime, a beggar, an artist as well as throngs of tourists and Roman natives all enjoying the oval plaza together. The piazza is ideal for such public life because it was built around what is called an ancient circus. This is not a lively animal show but an intersection of many streets in one circular area.
Don't miss out on enjoying a Tartufo at the Tre Scalini while you are there. Another option is to take in the Caffe della Pace, the oldest operating bar in Rome, which is not far away. The atmosphere here is a delight as is the taste of the Campari. This will put you in a good frame of mind to stop at the Church of Sant'Agnese for confession and still be walking distance from three of those renowned Bernini fountains.
One of those fountains is the Fountain of the Coppersmiths or the "Fontana dei Calderai" which later came to be known as the Fountain of Neptune. This artwork takes the fountain theme of sea creatures to the next level with its many denizens of sea including sea horses, sea nymphs, an octopus and the great sea god Neptune himself. Rose marble construction that was used to create this magnificent fountain was also used for the door jambs at St. Peter's.
Another option is to enjoy a stroll to the location between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, where you can hear some soothing classical music at the Piazza Sant'Eustachio. It is also a short distance to find a bus if your next destination is a tour of the Pantheon.
Lastly, when you visit Rome, you'll obviously need somewhere to stay. If you don't have family or friends who can provide a bed for your trip, then check out the apartments available for rent in the area.
Typically, Rome's hotels tend to be over-priced and of a fairly low standard, unless you're considering staying in a 5 Star hotel (they're still over-priced, but the standard is very good).
The best part about staying in a short-term rental vacation apartment, aside from the competitive pricing, space and privacy they offer, is the fact that there are so many of them in most of the major tourist hot spots, whereas the hotel availability is not as high. Plus, if you want a 3 star room (for example) near Piazza Navona and the hotels only offer 4 or 5 star (outside your budget), then you'd be out of luck with a hotel.
Instead of staying in over-priced Piazza Navona hotels while in Rome, choose a quality Apartments in Rome from Worldwide Accom and enjoy living WITH the locals in space and comfort. Worldwide Accommodation Holiday Rentals are your English-speaking Apartment rental agency based in Rome. We have over 500 apartments, villas, bed and breakfasts and farmhouses available for rent all across Italy.
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