Full of charm and history, Campo de’ Fiori is one of the most famous squares in Rome. It has a double soul: the morning is a popular market where resound the voices of the Romans who sell fruits and vegetables; in the evening it is a lively square, especially by tourists, attracted by the cafes surrounding the square.
The boys and girls sit on the steps beneath the statue of Giordano Bruno overlooking Campo de’ Fiori with its stern look. The current Campo de’ Fiori market already existed in the fifteenth century and was home to inns for pilgrims and merchants, as well as the home of courtesans. Here came the peasant from the hills around, the vignarole with baskets full of fruit and vegetables.
Popular tradition has it that the name of this square refers to Flora, a woman very loved by Pompey, a great Roman general. It is actually much more likely that it was named in the late ‘300 when, following the abandonment, was covered with a lawn. In 1456 Pope Callisto III ordered to pave the area as part of a larger project of the entire Parione district, thanks to which were built many important buildings such as the Orsini palace overlooking right on Campo de’ Fiori. Precisely for this renewal the square formed a fixed course for famous personalities as ambassadors and cardinals and this ensured a degree of prosperity in the area. Campo de’ Fiori became in fact not only the site of a flourishing market of horses that took place twice a week, on Mondays and Saturdays, but also the center of numerous trade and cultural activities. In the ancient buildings surrounding the square there are still visible the “madonnelle”: wall kiosks dating from the ‘600 and the ‘800, dedicated to the Virgin Mary or the Holy Family. Some are covered by a metal canopy with a small lantern, other from a shelf for flowers.
The most important event in the history of Campo de’ Fiori is the burning of Giordano Bruno, the Dominican philosopher burned alive in this square on February, 17 1600 on charges of heresy for having supported the heliocentric theory of Copernicus and Galileo. The bronze statue was built by Ettore Ferrari, and was placed in the square in 1887. On the sides of the monument there are eight medallions that resemble scenes from the life of the philosopher and portray famous heretics. A writing by Giovanni Bovio celebrates Giordano Bruno: “To Bruno the century he divined, here where the fire burned.”
Opening hours: open air
How to reach: bus stop C.so Vittorio Emanuele/s. A. Della Valle (46, 62, 64, 916, 916F)
Address: Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 00186 Roma RM