Rome… There’s so much to explore in the capital city of Italy! Two millenniums of history, art, and a vibrant culture compressed in one amazing city. I’ve been sharing lists of streets, neighborhoods, landmarks in Rome already, and this time I’m going to share with you the 10 most famous squares in Rome, Italy, one of these being the famous square in Rome with 3 fountains, and learn about the best piazza in Rome at night!
What I love the most about Rome, is that each square, park, statue, street, and piece of art had long and eventful lives, originating from different ages. At this moment, we’ll walk through the 10 best squares in Rome that you should visit, and add your story to their history!
10 famous squares in Rome, Italy
While you’re getting through the 10 best squares in Rome, Italy, you’ll learn about some of the greatest places in the Eternal City. You’ll find the famous square in Rome with 3 fountains, as well as a hidden square in Rome, that most visitors miss. If you’re interested in different neighborhoods in Rome, restaurants in the Eternal City, or a great Rome itinerary, you go ahead and check those posts out as well! Now, let’s see the 10 most famous squares in Rome, Italy that you definitely should visit!
#1 Piazza San Pietro
Piazza San Pietro is located right in front of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. It’s one of those places that I can never, ever skip when I visit Rome. I always feel something so positive and powerful there, that there’s no way I would want to miss to soak up some good vibes!
St Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) is the largest square in Rome. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed it in the 17th century. The design including the colonnades which embrace the square, and its visitors. In the middle of the piazza is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, and on the two sides are two fountains facing each other, looking very much alike but, one was designed by Bernini and one by Carlo Maderno.
Vatican City is one of those places in Rome that just simply cannot be missed. So as St Peter’s Square is one of the best and most famous squares in Rome, Italy!
#2 Piazza Navona – the square in Rome with 3 fountains
There’s no place I love more than the Piazza Navona, probably the most famous square in Rome, Italy. All since the first day when I’ve seen Piazza Navona in 2015, I fall in love with the square in Rome with 3 fountains. The vibes, the colors, the music, the restaurants, the architecture, it’s that place you have to love unquestionably and that’s it.
Piazza Navona is also one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy. It was built on the site of the ancient Stadium of Domitian in the 17th century, and this is explaining its form as well.
Piazza Navona is definitely one of the best squares to visit in Rome!
On Piazzan Navona there are three fountains. So if you’ve been searching for the square in Rome with 3 fountains, you’ve got your answer! The most stunning square is Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in the middle of the piazza, which is another one of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s masterpieces. On the two ends of the piazza are the Neptune and the Moor fountains (Fontana di Nettuno and Fontana del Moro). Last, but not least, there’s the beautiful Baroque church, the Sant’Agnese in Agone facing the square.
Very important to mention: My top favorite restaurants are all in this area, so check the linked article, and if you’re in Rome, make sure to visit them for some delicious Italian dishes! Another highlight for the square in Rome with 3 fountains is the Dan Brown book, and the movie of Angels and Demons. If you’re a fan of the movie, you should’ve seen the part when one of the 4 pope candidates is dropped in the fountain. That’s the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona. All in all, Piazza Navona is definitely one of the best squares in Rome, Italy! Oh, and Piazza Navona is also another best piazza in Rome at night!
#3 Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo is one of those squares in Rome that I really, really admire, but it took me multiple visits to Rome to finally be able to enjoy it. Usually, the square is really packed, and that’s disturbing, but if you catch a street musician, an artist, or a dancer to watch, you can sit at the bottom of the oblique and just admire the square for hours. Piazza del Popolo is one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy. Why?
The Piazza del Popolo is located on the northern side of the city center, at the northern gate of the historical city of Rome. The Via Flaminia road was considered the most important route to the North, and it was pointing from Piazza del Popolo. When people arrived from the north, this place was the first they’ve seen of the Eternal City.
The piazza has carried another important role for centuries, by being the scene of most of the public executions held in the city.
Rome’s famous long, straight shopping street, Via del Corso links Piazza del Popolo with Piazza Venezia, which is basically in the middle of the historic center.
Piazza del Popolo, one of the best squares in Rome, you can find Rome’s famous twin churches, the Santa Maria in Montesanto and the Santa Maria dei Miracoli. If you’re heading to this place in the evening, make sure to go up to Terrazza Pincio for the most stunning sunset views over Rome and Piazza del Popolo. If you’re in the area, you can also visit Villa Borghese, one of the most beautiful parks in Rome.
#4 Piazza Venezia
As I mentioned above, Piazza Venezia can be considered as the middle of the historical center. There are 5 main roads going from here, each one leading to each major part of the city. While facing the Altare della Patria, which was built in honor of the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emmanuele II, you can plan the easiest way all your walking tours in Rome. You can check these in my 3 days Rome itinerary.
If you choose the road on the left of the Altra della Patria, you’ll end up seeing the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the ruins of the Fori Imperiali, the Circo Massimo, etc. If you choose the right side, you can see the Capitolium, and that’s the easiest way to Rome’s most colorful neighborhood, the Trastevere too. From the other side of the square (this picture was taken from there) are another 3 roads.
The one on the left is leading all the way to the Termini station. The street that’s facing the Vittorio Emmanuele II monument on Piazza Venezia, the above-mentioned Via del Corso is the way to see the Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Villa Borghese, etc. If you go to the right, on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, you’ll walk by the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, and it takes you all the way to the Vatican City. In each case, Piazza Venezia is stunning, and it’s also one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy.
More of the famous squares in Rome, Italy
# 5 Piazza di Spagna – one of the most iconic squares to visit in Rome
Have you seen the Roman Holiday movie? If you did, I’m sure you’re already imagining Audrey Hepburn on the Spanish steps… if you haven’t seen it yet, well, please watch it, since it’s one of the most iconic movies set in Rome! Due to this, and many other reasons, Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy!
The Spanish steps link Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinita dei Monti on top, while the church Trinita dei Monti, that’s looking down to the Spanish steps and the piazza. The monumental stairway has 135 steps, and it was built after the order of a French diplomat in the time of the Bourbon kings of France. This monument became famous right after the Roman Holiday appeared in the cinemas. These days it’s just one of the top 8 things you HAVE TO SEE in Rome.
On Piazza di Spagna, the most famous square in Rome, Italy is home to many restaurants and high-end luxury brands. You can also find here the stunning fountain, la Barcaccia, which is just at the bottom of the Spanish steps. Another reason that makes the Piazza di Spagna one of the best squares in Rome is the street facing the Spanish Steps. Via dei Condotti is the most famous luxury fashion street of the Eternal City. You will find here almost all the luxury fashion and jewelry brands out there!
#6 Campo di Fiori
Campo di Fiori is the best piazza in Rome at night! In the South part of the Via del Corso, close to Torre Argentina, you can find the Campo de Fiori, which means ‘field of flowers’. Campo de Fiori is one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy for many reasons. Also, it’s an amazing place where you have something to do day and night.
During the day you can find on Campo de Fiori a local market, where you can buy everything from clothes to flowers, cheese, fruits, and local delicacies. During the evening the market disappears and bars and restaurants take over the rule on the square. Imagine that the whole square all the way around is packed with bars and restaurants with outdoor tables where you can sit and enjoy an Aperitivo, or a great dinner. There’s music everywhere, and Campo de Fiori is also a hot spot for after-dinner drinks in Rome. All this makes Campo de Fiori one of the best squares in Rome!
You can also find here Giordano Bruno’s statue, who was a renaissance mathematician, philosopher, and poet. Giordano Bruno was executed by the Catholic church on Campo de Fiori on the 17th of February in 1600. He was hanged upside down, naked, with his tongue “imprisoned” and then he was burned… That’s how the Catholic church rewarded the knowledge a few hundred years ago…
#7 Piazza Mattei – one of the hidden squares to visit in Rome
The fun fact about Piazza Mattei, is that I always have to put my phone away and get lost, to find it. I know Rome really, really well, but if I have to tell you right now that where is this place exactly, I need a map to do that. Piazza Mattei is hidden between the narrow Roman streets near Campo de Fiori. It’s not one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy but it is a square that I do categorize as one of the best squares in Rome.
Piazza Mattei is a few minutes away from Campo di Fiori, between that and the Torre Argentina. The first time I found it, was while I’ve been searching for a spicy pepper shop, called Peperita (which is in the left corner of the picture) I got lost. I just couldn’t find the shop, even if I’ve been using Google maps, and I’ve crossed the square two times until I finally spotted the shop.
What I really love about this place is that it’s hidden, small, and still stunning! In the middle of Piazza Mattei you can find the stunning Fontana della Tartarughe. It’s a late renaissance fountain, by Giacomo della Porta, who designed the two small fountains on Piazza Navona, and he has many other masterpieces around the city of Rome. As for now, Piazza Mattei is not a famous square in Rome, but it’s one you should see! And maybe buy some spicy Tuscan pepper at Peperita?
#8 Piazza della Rotonda
We tend to forget the square and concentrate on the iconic building that’s dominating it. The Pantheon is Rome’s oldest and still functioning church, with a 2000-year-old history. It is one of the best-preserved memory of the Roman Empire. Piazza della Rotonda is one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy because of the Pantheon itself.
One of the best squares in Rome, where you can sit and admire the 2000 years old majestic Pantheon, have an Aperitivo, or dinner and enjoy the historical spot. An emblematic piece, to notice, is the Fontana del Pantheon, in the middle of the square with an obelisk in the middle of it. Piazza della Rotonda is surrounded by cute restaurants and cafes to choose from for a quick stop-by with an unbelievable view.
#9 Piazza della Santa Maria in Trastevere Roma
Piazza della Santa Maria in Trastevere Roma is another best piazza in Rome at night! The square of Santa Maria in Trastevere got its name after the church that’s standing here. The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome. Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the most iconic and most famous squares in Rome, Italy.
The Romanesque campanile of the Santa Maria in Trastevere church is from the 12th century, but its floor plan is dating back to the 340s. The past few years it was covered due to constructions, and it was such a disappointment not being able to see it. The good news, however, restorations were finished (2019) and it’s all visible and so breathtaking! If you’re visiting Rome, now you can see the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere Roma in its glowing bloom.
One of the best squares in Rome, the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere is located in the famous Roman neighborhood, Trastevere. This is one of the most authentic neighborhoods in Rome, where you can fall in lvoe over and over again with the colorful streets, and the stunning square of Santa Maria in Trastevere. You can find here many bars and restaurants for a great Aperitivo, dinner, or to hang out after dinner. Trastevere is also known as one of the best places for nightlife in Rome.
#10 Piazza del Campidoglio
Right near the Altare della Patria, on the right-hand side, if you’re facing the monument, you can find Capitolium hill. There are large steps leading up to the Capitolium square, the Piazza del Campidoglio, which along with the surrounding buildings were designed by the renaissance artists, Michelangelo Buonarotti.
Piazza del Campidoglio is definitely one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy! In the middle of the square is the statue of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. There are three buildings surrounding the piazza, the Palazzo Senatorio, which is used by the City Council, then and the Mayor’s Office is also here, and the Palazzo Caffarelli. You can also visit the museums and exhibitions in these buildings, as well as if you take the road on the left near the Capitolium building, you’ll find the most stunning view over the Roman Forum! Piazza del Campidoglio is definitely one of the most beautiful, best squares in Rome!
Wrapping up the 10 most famous squares in Rome, Italy
I’m being honest now… The Italian capital was and is my obsession since 2015, and my desire to know more about this place is unstoppable! Rome is the reason I started blogging, and it’s the reason why I decided 5 years ago, that I will make my way to Italy once, to finally live here. Now I’m based in Emilia Romagna, and I can’t wait to visit Rome once again!
So far, about the BEST squares to visit in Rome, I have to say that there are much more than these, that should be seen. The Italian capital is like a museum. The Centro Storico is full of hidden gems and whenever you get lost, you’ll always find a cute piazza. Don’t forget also the 2 best piazza in Rome at night. So far, my favorite square has been the Piazza Navona, the square in Rome with 3 fountains, but I do think that all these famous squares in Rome, Italy should be seen by everyone who’s planning a vacation in Rome, Italy!
More articles are coming soon, and I can promise this, there will be MORE!