What are the best plazas or piazzas to see in Rome?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Markus Dobritzhofer
  • Markus Dobritzhofer

  • Chef Concierge, Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

  • Rome, Italy, EUR

A 'Piazza' in Rome means a square where you usually find fountains, statues or obeliscs, can sit down in a cafè or restaurant - or (and that's the most exciting aspect for me in the eternal city) - find yourself in front of a monument of 2000 years ago; you feel like being in a huge open-air museum, and the following are just a few of the most famous ones:
Piazza Trinità dei Monti: just on top of  the Spanish Steps you have a wonderful view over the roofs of the citycenter and the shopping area.
Piazza della Rotonda: here you are in the heart of the citycenter and just in front of one of the most important monuments of the ancient rome period - the Pantheon.
Piazza Navona: in the center of this famous square you find the 4 River fountain of Bernini, a lot of artists and painters and many cafès and restaurants that are worth a stop to admire the atmosphere.
Piazza Campo de'Fiori: during the morning the typical italian outdoor market offers fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers, while in the evening it becomes a very lively place where people meet for a drink.
Piazza San Pietro: most probably you will visit the square and the Basilica of St. Peter's during the day - but if you can pass by during the night when everything is lit up and this famous square becomes quite.
Piazza Venezia: this is the the square with the heaviest  traffic in the citycenter, along the way to the Coliseum.
Piazza Mattei: in the jewish quartier this tiny square with its Turtle's fountain is a very romantic place.
Piazza S. Bartolomei: on the Tiber Island before you reach Trastevere, a small square that becomes very charming in the evening.

Erica Firpo
photo by Erica Firpo

There is no definitive list to Rome’s best piazzas as Rome has so many and each piazza has something special.  My suggestions on best piazzas depend on time of day and mood.  When I want grandiose, I love standing in the centers of Piazza del Popolo (center) and Piazza San Pietro (Vatican). These gorgeous piazzas are the center of their respective worlds- Rome and the Vatican.  Their fountains, statues and curves never fail to make me smile. 

For historic, postcard perfect beauty, I walk through Piazza Navona and Piazza della Rotonda (Pantheon), two not-to-be-missed piazzas for both daytime and evening visits. Campo de' Fiori is always the spot for market shopping, chaos and evening adventures. I also find irresistible Piazza di Pietra for the massive columns of Temple of Hadrian that decorate its south side.  In a few months or more, the restorations to Piazza Agusto Imperatore will hopefully be completed and its palimpsest of architectural history from its central 1st century mausoleum to Augustus Caesar, Fascist  building facades, and Richard Meier-designed museum will be open for all.

When I want to get away from the chaos of Rome, I enjoy a quiet coffee in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina, an oasis of charm just off the busy via del Corso.  For the sunset, I sit at any of the caffes lining Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere as I love to watching the gold glow on the Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere while sipping prosecco.  There is nothing quite like stumbling across the quiet Piazza Mattei and its beautiful fountain. But if anyone asks me, the tiny Piazza Santa Barbara dei Librari near Campo de' Fiori is the very best piazza in Rome. You'll have to go there to find out why.

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