The 9 Best Piazzas in Rome 

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Piazza Venezia

Home to some of the best food, amazing sightseeing, authentic Italian streets and incredible history, Rome has it all. This wonderful city offers piazzas at every turn, all brimming with exciting opportunities to dive deeper into local culture. 

A Piazza is a marketplace that can be found in the heart of Italian cities or towns. These impressive squares offer a space for community gatherings, alongside impressive structures, restaurants, bars and shops. 

With stunning architecture and a great bustling environment, piazzas are a perfect way to immerse yourself in Italian culture. With many to choose from, we have narrowed it down to the best piazzas that can be found in the heart of Rome’s metropolis. 

Piazza Navona

The first on our list is the famous Piazza Navona which is situated in the center city of Rome, in the district of Campus Martius, about 300 meters from the Pantheon. This busy square offers a plethora of history alongside stunning structures and a reputation for being one of the best piazzas in Rome, so this is one stop you absolutely must make. 

Piazza Navona’s unique shape is a result of what was originally the stadium for athletic competitions, hosting 20,000 spectators. With its rich history, there is no better place to gain a true sense of Rome, than visiting this special piazza. 

With plenty of mouth-watering restaurants nearby, don’t forget to make a well-earned pit stop at one of the surrounding eateries when visiting Piazza Navona. The square is situated close to sights such as the renowned Trevi Fountain and the stunning La Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi (also known as the Fountain of Four Rivers), so there’s lots to do if you want to plan a visit around a trip to this piazza.

Trevi Fountain

Piazza di Spagna

The name Piazza di Spagna ‘The Square of Spain’ originated from the Palazzo di Spagna, as the seat of the Spanish Embassy for the Vatican has been located here since the seventeenth century. Situated at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, you can tie in a visit to this piazza in with another tourist hotspot.  

Piazza di Spagna is another great square for some of Rome’s most beautiful fountains, Italian cuisine and stunning architecture. The Fontana Della Barcaccia is arguably one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome and is situated in the heart of Piazza di Spagna. Built in 1627, this stunning fountain lends itself to incredible sightseeing alongside historical and cultural exploration, which adds to the list of reasons why to visit here 

This trendy piazza was previously the main gathering place for artists and scholars in the sixteenth century. So if you want to absorb all the culture that Rome has to offer, you will want to make sure that Piazza di Spagna is on your list of places to go.  

The Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna

Piazza del Campidoglio

With a profuse amount of religious shrines, the Piazza del Campidoglio allows an insight into the history and religion of the city. When visiting Rome, it would be a shame not to explore this unique piazza and find out more about the figures that have influenced the shrines here.

This historical square was once the seat of the Senate and the government base for ancient Rome. Not only can you explore the past here, but you can also spend hours marveling at the stunning buildings and fountains on display. 

Situated on the summit of Capitoline Hill, this Piazza is one of the more modern squares in Rome, in comparison to the others on our list. Important names like Michelangelo worked on the design for this piazza which becomes obvious when exploring the style and beauty of the square itself.

When visiting Rome with the whole family, it might be a nice idea to spend a day strolling through the many museums, gaining a wider insight into the history of Rome. You can find the Capitoline Museums at the Piazza del Campidoglio, which is another great way to explore Rome’s past.

Piazza San Pietro

Also known as St Peter’s Square, Piazza San Pietro is a significant location for Catholic visitors to the city, attracting travelers from all over the world to this special place. Located next to the Sistine Chapel, many flock to the Vatican City to honor the most important church in the catholic religion, St Peter’s Basilica.

Situated in the center of Piazza San Pietro is the Egyptian obelisk, a stunning building built in 1586 which displays unmatched architecture. The well-thought layout of the square paired with the impressive columns creates an amazing experience and opportunity to see some of the most elegant architecture in Rome. 

You will also find many great places to dine in and around Piazza San Pietro. If you are looking for true authentic cuisine or tasty ice cream with an array of flavors on offer, you will find it all in this stunning square. 

This piazza is the perfect spot for exploring many famous attractions; from St Peter’s Basilica to the Vatican City, you can tick these and more off your list without having to go far, which is great when exploring Rome on foot.

St Peter's Square

Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia is rich with great stories of ancient Romans who once inhabited the city. This piazza was previously used as a papal residence, which later became home for the embassy of the Republic of Venice and then transformed into the headquarters for the Italian Government.

This great tourist spot in Rome is also known as ‘Venice Square’ and is located where four major roads meet in the city. The Piazza Venezia is well-known for its hustle and bustle, with plenty of traffic rushing in and out of this area. 

The famous statue known as the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument is situated in the Piazza Venezia and has been the focal point for many tourists visiting Rome. It’s worth visiting this piazza just to see this breathtaking piece of architecture, let alone all the other things that are in and around the square.

Piazza Venezia

Piazza Mattei

Situated in the heart of the Roman Jewish community lies the Piazza Mattei. The piazza is centered around the stunning Fontana Delle Tatarughe, which tells stories of the legends who once called this part of Rome home. 

The authentic Fontana Delle Tatarughe was created by Duke Giacomo Mattei and was designed in a similar style to many other authentic Italian fountains throughout the city. Giacomo was a notorious gambler and resident of the white building located at number 19, overlooking the little Piazza Mattei. 

The fountain in Piazza Mattei is a great place to stop off and take a minute to absorb the atmosphere of this authentically Italian square. Hidden away by the Turtle Fountain, it’s one of the quieter spots for tourists. So, if you’re looking for a peaceful break to immerse yourself in Rome, this is the place to be. 

Piazza Santa Maria 

Being home to one of the oldest fountains in Rome, the Piazza Santa Maria shouldn’t be missed. The fountain in this piazza is said to date back to the 8th century, making it a great place to see Rome’s history and architecture.

If you are seeking out more of Rome’s religious history, you can also find one of the oldest churches in Trastevere here in the piazza too.

The authentic Piazza Santa Maria is great for travelers who are looking for a true taste of Italy and to find out more about the legends that were born here. This beautiful little square is surrounded by stunning buildings and is located in the picturesque neighborhood of Trastevere. 

Piazza del Popolo 

The Piazza del Popolo is one of the larger squares in Rome and was designed by the architect Valadier. Once known as the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, it’s located inside the northern gate of the city center. Here you’ll stumble across several stunning churches, three impressive fountains, and the city gate into Rome.

Piazza del Popolo translates to ‘People’s Square’. Tourists usually flock to this square to see the impressive and almost identical churches that are the Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto. The city gates that are situated here date back to 1561 and provide great photo opportunities as well as a deeper understanding of how Rome has evolved.

This wonderful square has so much to offer and allows even more insight into the history and culture that is centered in Rome. You can also see the famous Flaminio Obelisk in this piazza, which is one of the thirteen ancient obelisks in Rome.

Piazza del Popolo

Campo de’ Fiori

The piazza Campo de’ Fiori is extremely popular for those looking for a true Italian experience, as it hosts the most famous market in Rome. Visitors are often stunned by the profuse amount of colors and lively atmosphere in this beautiful piazza and the daily markets that it hosts.

The name of the atmospheric square translates to ‘field of flowers’, as it was originally an area for a meadow full of flowers. However, many think that the name comes from the idea that the spectacular flower market is here, whilst the piazza does offer a great flower market, the name actually dates back to the Middle Ages.

As the sun begins to set and night falls, this piazza becomes a great spot to have a drink, either on the terraces around the square or in one of the many lively bars here. If you happen to visit the Piazza Navona (mentioned above), you will find Campo de’ Fiori just around the corner, another great way to tick more sights off your list. 

Summary

When visiting Rome, you will find there is so much to see and experience as this city offers a wealth of history and religion, like no other place in the world. The stunning structures, architecture, restaurants, shops and authenticity of the city are just a few of the things that make it so special and there is no better way to experience Rome than by visiting all the incredible piazzas that are situated here. 

When booking a trip to Rome, Italy4Real offers some of the best ways to experience the city here, alternatively get in touch with our team and let us help you make the most out of your trip to stunning Italy.

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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