Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana delle Quattro Fiumi)
Topping the must-see list for art enthusiasts, Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers is the star of small-group or private tours of baroque fountains and squares in Rome. It's also included in many walking and Segway tours, along with skip-the-line access to the Colosseum and Vatican (including the Sistine Chapel). The fountain depicts the Nile, Danube, Rio de la Plata, and Ganges and is topped by a soaring Egyptian obelisk.
For a memorable look at the fountain, join a sunset or night tour when the fountain is illuminated. Or, for fans of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons (first a book and then a film), see the Fountain of the Four Rivers as part of a tour that focuses on Brown's story.
Things to Know Before You Go
Do not enter Fountain of the Four Rivers(or any of Rome’s historic fountains)— trespassers can be fined or arrested.
The pedestrian-only Piazza Navona is crowded with street performers, making it popular with families.
Wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
The statue can be reached via wheelchair or stroller, though the square’s cobblestones make for bumpy terrain.
How to Get There
The Fountain of the Four Rivers marks the center of Piazza Navona, located in the historic city center of Rome between the Pantheon and Tiber River. To reach the square by public transportation, take a bus that stops on nearby Via di Torre Argentina.
When to Get There
Piazza Navona is one of the most popular public spaces in Rome, lively day and night with street vendors and performers, cafes and restaurants, and crowds out for a stroll. Try to visit after sunset when Bernini’s magnificent sculptures are beautifully lit.
The Legend of an Artistic Rivalry
The Fountain of the Four Rivers sits at the center of Piazza Navona, right in front of the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. The statue representing the Rio de la Plata faces the church, and appears to be cowering away in horror at the facade, designed by one of Bernini’s rivals. This is a common story, and a fun one, but it can’t be true—the church was built many years after Bernini’s fountain.
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