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Why I Love Piazza Navona On A Postcard

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November 28, 2009 Exploring Rome, Favourite Places 3 Comments

The vulgarity of the tourist-trap that has become Piazza Navona continues to irritate me. I love all the little streets surrounding Piazza Navona, but have resorted to avoiding the piazza itself in favour of daydreaming about its former atmosphere of quiet and majestic beauty.

But let me explain. Strolling around on Piazza Navona, one of the most famous and intensly beautiful sites known to man – while soaking up its incomparable atmosphere, and admiring the beautiful fountains, artwork, churches and palazzi – should be a very enjoyable activity. My usual experience is blatantly different, and plays out approximately as follows:

l navona1 night rome Why I Love Piazza Navona On A Postcard

Piazza Navona by night

Upon entering the piazza, I am approached by a seller trying to persuade me to buy a large electronic duck-like beast, capable of an appalling croaking noise, or alternatively, a fluorescent toy that can be thrown up in the air, far above the tourists’ heads, producing a warning whizzing sound as it re-approaches the ground. I politely decline and keep walking.

At each and every bar and restaurant along my way to the northern end of the piazza, waiters try to tempt me into dining at their establishment, by waving an overpriced English tourist menu and animatedly asking me (and every other passing tourist) about my dinner plans. Thus insulted (I feel local enough not eat in places where I will be charged for the English language skills of the staff), I make my way onto the middle part of the piazza, but hope not: I am instantly eyed and approached by artists who display portraits somewhat resembling Angelina Jolie or Leonardo di Caprio, who – you guessed – would like me to pose for half an hour and pay a few Euros, so that they can replicate my face.

The only entity on Piazza Navona that I find enthusing at the moment is the toy shop ‘Al Sogno’, which sells plush animals of extraordinary quality in every size. Even more importantly, the staff in the shop is a little reserved and instead of hassling me into buying their toys, they will tell me sternly not to touch anything. Like a breath of fresh air.

And that is why I love Piazza Navona on a postcard.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [...] Read a critical observation of Piazza Navona here. [...]

  2. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [...] Read a critical observation of Piazza Navona here. [...]

  3. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I agree, there are some great restaurants, and other things that are not tourist-traps if you venture a little off Piazza Navona, and not so much in the piazza itself. Nice post.
    Larry Aiello

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