RISTORANTE DA NAVONA PIAZZA NAVONA, 67. TEL 0668806827. RISTORANTEPIZZERIANAVONA.COM Let history surround you at this exquisitely placed restaurant! Treat yourself to traditional Roman cuisine and pizza all while taking in breathtaking Piazza Navona. Seats in the outdoor veranda offer views of the glorious works by Bernini and Borromini in the square. Not in the mood for a full meal? Stop by before dinner for an aperitivo, with the city’s most famous square as your backdrop. It doesn’t get any better than this. BISTROT PASQUINO VIA DEL GOVERNO VECCHIO, 79. TEL 0668808124. BISTROTWINEBARPASQUINO.COM This bistrot is beloved by both locals and tourists, attracting a mix of nationalities and languages. An all-day affair, Pasquino is open for breakfast (classic Italian coffee and cornetti are on tap along with more international breakfast offerings), lunch, aperitif, and dinner. While the location on Via del Governo Vecchio is historic, dishes are modern and creative. The warmth and professionalism of the staff is well-known throughout the neighborhood. BEHIND PIAZZA NAVONA illustrates the continuation of Rome throughout the centuries, the passage of time imprinted on the very urban fabric of the city. Much of the stadium’s ruins are open to the public via a small museum at Via di Tor Sanquinia, 3. Another fascinating chapter in Piazza Navona’s history was the naumachia. Every weekend in August, from 1652 to 1865, the piazza was flooded up to a meter deep, and large horse-drawn carriages would parade to the merriment and delight of all. This tradition, which provided the Roman populace with much needed frolicking and refreshment, came about as a throwback to the miniature naval battles that were staged in the Stadium of Domitian and even the Colosseum during the Roman Empire. Long, oval-shaped Piazza Navona is one of the top attractions of Rome, as well as being arguably the most beautiful square in the world, but not everyone knows the rich history behind it. Where we see the piazza today, with its three splendid fountains and colorful sidewalk cafés, there was once an ancient stadium. A long oval racetrack was built here by Emperor Domitian in the 1st century AD, where footraces and Olympic-style games were held. As the centuries passed and the stadium fell into ruin, resourceful medieval families built homes into the stone foundation that had once been the seating area. More and more homes were built, following the curving path of the stadium seats, and the result is one of the sites that most
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