One of the most popular public spaces in Rome, the magnificent, oval-shaped Piazza Navona is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, souvenir shops, and the Museo di Roma inside the Renaissance Palazzo Braschi. The city’s Baroque art is on full display here. Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi features exquisitely carved figures representing the world’s four great rivers, and legend has it that the figure with his arms extended is recoiling in horror from the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone by Borromini, Bernini’s rival.
Wander down the small street next to the church and make your way toward Via della Pace, one of the city’s most picturesque streets. At the end stands the church of Santa Maria della Pace, its white portico gleaming in the sun. Make time to stop for un caffè or a glass of wine at Antico Caffè della Pace, a legendary nineteenth-century haunt still as chic as ever and one of the best places for a classic Italian aperitivo.