Campo de’ Fiori in Rome

Written by on 5. June 2020 in Rome Sights with 0 Comments

Campo de‘ Fiori in Rome. Oh Rome, you have so many beautiful and unique places that enchant me again and again. One of the many, however, particularly appealed to me. The Campo de ’Fiori. Why this marketplace of all places makes me so enthusiastic is probably because, like Rome itself, it is such a wonderfully colorful mixture of different colors, smells, epochs and stories. The place is the bridge from day to night and from then to now. How it does this and why the Campo de ’Fiori in Rome is not like the other squares of the Eternal City, I will tell you in the following article. If you want to learn more about Rome’s most famous market square and its history, this is the right article for you.

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The Campo de ’Fiori Rome: Melting Pot in the Eternal City

Campo de ’Fiori, that’s this market square in Rome, isn’t it? Recently, a passerby on the train loudly asked her companion, who nodded off relatively uninvolved. And it was difficult for me not just to interfere in the conversation between the two without being asked. Yes and no, I would have loved to answer her. The Campo de ’Fiori is indeed a marketplace in Rome, that’s right. At the same time, he is so much more.

The sights in Rome sometimes take on a different function, whether it’s day or night. Only one thing always remains the same: the charm. Piazza Campo de Fiori in Rome illustrates this versatility like no other. During the day, it takes on its role as a market where you can find everything and more. While in the evening it comes alive for nightlife, pubs, restaurants and parties. In short, the square of Campo de ’Fiori in Rome gathers the Roman folk spirit, whether it’s day or night, and casts a spell over tourists and locals. It comes as no surprise that Woody Allen also used the Campo de ’Fiori (among others) as the setting for his film“ To Rome with love ”.

The market at Campo de ’Fiori in Bella Roma

The market in Piazza Campo dei Fiori in Rome is the most picturesque and richest market in the whole city. If you want to experience and capture the spirit and essence of the Eternal City, you shouldn’t miss it.

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You will find the market in the square of the same name, just a few steps from Piazza Navona and always from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 2pm. On Sundays, the dealers who take care of the stands treat themselves to a well-deserved rest.

The history of the most famous market square on Rome’s Campo dei Fiori began in 1869 when the most important market in the capital was moved from Piazza Navona to this square. In the beginning, only fruit and vegetables were sold, and the Campo de ’Fiori was the undisputed kingdom of the“ Vignarole”, the women who came every day from the field with their vegetables, which they clean directly on the square.

Over time, the market expanded and with it the range. Today visitors can find flowers, fish and meat, spices, herbs, fruit and vegetables at the stands. There are old stalls that have survived for decades and are a living relic from the old neorealistic films of the post-war period, where fruit and vegetables are still on sale today, as well as newer ones, where souvenirs, bags and handicrafts and gifts are sold.

Real Romans, who loudly advertise zucchini and tomatoes, as well as well-off middle-class women and simple housewives with their shopping bags as well as tourists of all ages – you can find all of this in the lively market place on the Campo de ’Fiori in Rome.

How the Campo de ’Fiori got its name …

Many legends (which are, more or less likely) arise around the question of how the Campo de ’Fiori, often called the Campo (field) by the Romans, got its name. Campo de ’Fiori means flower field.

The fact is that several centuries ago there was a large flowering area in its place. It was bordered on one side by a series of palazzi belonging to a wealthy family and on the other side it fell down to the Tiber.

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Things changed at the end of the 15th century. The Campidoglio market was moved to Piazza Navona, not far away. This started a redesign of the entire area (including Piazza Campo de ’Fiori) and in the area inns and taverns were built.

Pope Sixtus IV ordered the renovation and restructuring of the square, which eventually became an important business center and got its current appearance. The Campo de ’Fiori in Rome was officially ennobled as the economic and commercial center of the city center at the latest in 1869, when the market on Piazza Navona was relocated here.

The statue of Giordano Bruno and its history

Did you know that for centuries the Campo de ‘Fiori in Rome was one of the most important places where public executions took place? One of the most important witnesses to this dark and cruel chapter is right in the middle of the square in the form of a statue. On a pedestal stands a mysterious man with a hood and a book in his hand: Giordano Bruno.

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The philosopher and Dominican monk, Giordano Bruno, was burned alive on February 17, 1600 at the Campo de ’Fiori in Rome. His theory that the universe could be infinite and that the sun was not a fixed point in the sky was really “heretical” for the Holy Inquisition. He was executed at the stake. Almost 300 years later, on June 9, 1889, a monument was finally dedicated to him. A work by Ettore Ferrari that still stands in the middle of the square.

The idea to build the monument actually came from some students, together with Antonio Labriola, a university professor of philosophy. Even then, it was anything but easy to place the statue of the ancient symbol in the heart of Rome, not only because of the presence of the Vatican.

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Other special features of the Campo de ’Fiori

You may have noticed that the Campo de ’Fiori square in Rome is the only one of the historical squares in Rome that has no church. This is just one of the special features around the picturesque market square in the middle of the Eternal City. Here are a few more background info about one of the most beautiful places in Rome:

The “terrine”

Where the bronze statue of Giordano Bruno stands today was once a large fountain, crowned by a domed lid with a ball in the middle, which made it look very similar to a large tureen. For this reason, the Romans, who have the extraordinary gift of inventing nicknames for everyone and everything, began to call him “the terrine”. The fountain that carried the strange inscription “Ama Dio e non fallire, fa del bene e lascia dire” on the lid, meaning love God and do not fail, do good and let it be said (probably inspired by the death sentences carried out there), was relocated in 1924 to make room for the market stalls. In the same year a similar model was produced (this time, however, without a lid), which you can admire today at the southern end of the square.

The Cinema Farnese on the Campo de ’Fiori in Rome

In Campo de ‘Fiori there is also the Cinema Farnese, one of the oldest cinemas in Rome. It was already active in the 1930s when it organized theater performances. His name at that time was “Cinema Romano” – in English “Roman cinema”. In the 1970s it was the meeting point for artists, poets and intellectuals such as Pasolini, Moravia and Guttuso, to name just a few. The cineastes in particular will be delighted to learn that the Cinema Farnese is not only closely linked to Italian film history, but still offers multilingual films today – right in the heart of Rome! In a place that could be admired several times on the big screen.

The surrounding streets

There are three streets leading to the square, the names of which are very interesting: Via dei Giubbonari, Via dei Cappellari and Via dei Chiavari. These names come from the Roman dialect and mean “the street of the jacket cutters”, “the street of the hat makers” and “the street of the key makers”. This is because these alleys were full of small shops that made and sold these items. If you have time, then you should definitely explore the surrounding streets and stroll a bit through the shops.

Eating and drinking around the piazza

As already indicated, the Campo de ’Fiori is not only a popular place to stay during the day when the market takes place, but also a popular hotspot and linchpin in the nightlife of the Italian capital in the evenings. Pubs, bars and restaurants should of course not be missing.

Forno Campo de ‘Fiori (Piazza Campo de’ Fiori 22, Rome)

The Forno Campo de ’Fiori is a genuine Roman bakery. There is hardly a better place for me to have a slice of Pizza Bianca with Mortadella (definitely one of the Roman national dishes in terms of street food). The opening times are daily from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. In July and August, however, there is no market on Saturday afternoon.

Obicà Mozzarella Bar – Campo dei Fiori (Piazza Campo de ‘Fiori 16, Rome)

The Obicà Mozzarella Bar is part of a pizza chain that specializes in high-quality mozzarella and burrata. It is also nice to sit there regardless of dinner. For happy hour between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., an aperitif with beer, wine, cocktail costs 6 euros and free snacks.

The Drunken Ship (Piazza Campo de ‘Fiori 20/21, Rome)

The Drunken Ship pub is a popular spot for a drink including people watching in the piazza. If you are on a budget, I recommend the Orusdir Pub (Via dei Cappellari 130, Rome). As it is on a side street and not directly on the piazza, the prices are a bit lower and the audience is accordingly younger and more student-oriented.

Roscioli (Via dei Giubbonari 21, Rome)

The Roscioli is a sausage or delicatessen with its own kitchen, i.e. a small restaurant, where you can (with a reservation) try typical products and dishes (such as Carbonara or Cacio Pepe) at a few tables. Without a reservation you can stock up on all sorts of delicacies at the sausage and cheese counter. The opening times are – except for Sundays – from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 00:00 a.m.

If your mouth is not watering now and you fancy a visit to the market or an extended food tour through Rome, I don’t know either. For gourmets (and everyone who wants to become one), the Campo de ’Fiori in Rome is an absolute El Dorado. That and so much more!

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