A day of fountains, bridges, and Trastevere
21.07.2016 - 30.07.2016
I never did find Piazza Navona and the Bernini fountain the previous day. So I started out again today to try to find it one more time. Although it did not help me the previous day I once again studied my guide map before leaving the hotel. I realized there was a more direct and closer path to follow than my one of the previous day. So I left my hotel on Via del Gracchi and walked to Via Cicerone. This lead me directly to Piazza Cavour. Somehow I had missed this Piazza on my previous days of walking . It was located right next to Castel Sant’Angelo so I do not know how I missed it. It’s a beautiful Piazza with a large bronze monument to Camillo Benso di Cavour.
I saw a beautiful view of the River Tiber and the beautiful Pont Sant Angelo. There is so much to see just walking through Rome with or without a destination in mind.
And then finally I found Piazza Navona. The streets I used on this day were a little more direct and made it a easier to find. When I finally arrived I realized that I had just missed it the previous day. I had to have walked right past the side street that led to the Piazza. The streets I used on this day were a little more direct and made it a easier to find and I realized it was a lot closer to my hotel than I had thought.
Fountain of Neptune - Piazza Navona
I entered the Piazza from the north end. Here I saw the first of three fountains in the square. And much like my previous days experience at the Spanish Steps, the first fountain was closed for cleaning. Go to Rome they said. Sit on the beautiful Spanish Steps. I went to Rome. The steps were closed. Go to Rome they said. See the beautiful fountains. I went to Rome. The fountains were closed. Well at least this one was closed. I saw an empty fountain with workers cleaning the sides of the fountain. This is The Fountain of Neptune. It was created in 1574 by Giacomo della Porta. The statue of Neptune in the middle is the work of Antonio Della Bitta and was added much later in 1878.
Fontana del Moro or Fountain of the Moors
The fountain on the south side of the Piazza is the Fontana del Moro or Fountain of the Moors. The basin and four Tritons were sculpted by Giacomo della Porta (1575). But right there in the middle is a Bernini. I had been waiting for four days to see a Bernini. Berini's statue of a Moor wrestling with a dolphin was added in 1673.
Bernini's Moor - Fontana del Moro
Giacomo della Porta's Triton's
The main attraction of Piazza Navona is the central and largest fountain, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). This is one of the Bernini masterpieces that I was looking forward to seeing.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers)
The fountain features four figures, each representing a river from a different continent - the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata. The statues are at the base of a rock supporting an obelisk, originally located at the Circus of Maxentius, near the Appian Way.
The fountan was amazing. To me Bernini is all about the details. The facial expressions, the positions of the bodies, and the draping of the clothing all grab you attention. Bernini's works all show motion. They are never static. And for me I could see the movement in my minds eye. I just stood there for the longest time trying to take it all in. This was one benefit of being alone on this trip. I was able to take the time I needed to experience the moment without a thought of holding anyone else up from something they might want to do.
=ark and I returned together to Rome two years later. Guess what? This amazing fountain was closed for repairs and renovation.
Sant'Agnese in Agone is the church in the center of the piazza. Interesting enough is the fact that the church was designed by one of Bernini's main rivals Borromini making both masters remain in competition throughout history for dominance in this square. I returned to Piazza Navona two days later so I will wait to talk about this church on that days blog.====It was time for a break. After a morning of beautiful squares and monuments I took some time to rest from the heat of the day. I stopped at a little cafe in Piazza Novano that faced the fountains. It was time for a bottle of water and a chilled glass of white wine.
I left Piazza Novana but stopped in a little restaurant on one of the small side streets just off the square. Cafe di Marzio. I had a wonderful lunch there of linguine with another glass of wine of course. I asked the waiter about directions to The Pantheon. He said it was very near and not difficult to find. Well I never did find it the previous day so I was not sure if I trusted his answer or not.
I followed a sign for the Pantheon that had an arrow pointing down a small street. With a couple of turns I luckily found myself in Piazza Sant’Eustacia. It was just behind the next Piazza which was Piazza Rotunda where The Pantheon is located.
The Pantheon was amazing inside and out. I returned two days later for more photos. I'll be posting more about it on my day seven blog.
So where next? This was turning into a long day of walking.
What is this behind me? Did I finally find my way to Trastevere?
Interesting street cafes?
Yes. It must be Trastevere. Mark will be so happy when I get back tonight and tell him I finally got to see Trastevere.
Mark had gone to Italy when he was eighteen after high school graduation. His older sister went with him She died very young right after Mark and I met so I never got to meet her. They both fell in love with the Trastevere area when they were in Rome. So it was very emotional and important to him for me to see it. It was sad because he was not here with me the day I saw Trastevere so I took lots of pictures to text him when I got back to the room later in the evening.
=My walk back to the hotel from Trastevere was very interesting. The scenery along the river was beautiful.
I saw people sitting by the water front.
There was a tourist boat in the river.
Beautiful bridges over the River Tiber
And many churches.
Saint Giovanni of Fiorentini
Later in the evening I had dinner in a really nice little restaurant near my hotel. And for the first time I did not have pasta or pizza for dinner. I had one the best veal dishes I have ever tasted.
To sum up my day. I finally found Piazza Navona. I saw some Bernini. I visited The Pantheon. And I reached Trastevere and thought of Mark's memories of his visit with his sister. Each day of this holiday seemed to get better. I could not wait to see what tomorrow had in store for me.