Campo de' Fiori is one of Rome's most characteristic neighborhoods.
This square, famous market, and neighborhood all come together to create a unique and lively atmosphere.
When you visit Campo de' Fiori, you will see the only open-air covered market left in Rome.
But don't stop there - explore beyond this piazza to discover a neighborhood rich in history!
On this page, I'll share with you:
Campo de' Fiori Rome is a public square in the historic center of the Eternal City, best known for its outdoor market and nightlife.
Its centerpiece is the bronze statue dedicated to philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was executed on this exact spot in the year 1600.
The area is famous for having some of Rome's best restaurants, and also for its vibrant nightlife scene, particularly around the square itself.
The neighborhood covers two of Rome's "Rioni", or historic districts - Parione and Regola.
The phrase "campo de fiori" literally means "field of flowers" in Italian.
This is because the whole area was a meadow back in Ancient Rome and didn't change much until the 14th century.
Sometime during and after the Middle Ages, it became more and more commercialized.
There was a horse market on Mondays and Saturdays, and in 1456, Pope Callixtus III (Borgia) had the square paved.
Shops and artisan laboratories sprang up, and the piazza as we know it today began to take shape.
In the 17th century, the square was famously used as the site of gruesome executions.
On February 17 1600, philosopher and mathematician Giordano Bruno, a colleague of Galileo Galilei, was burnt at the stake (naked and upside down) for his beliefs, considered heretical at the time.
He was, of course, later exonerated and even became a symbol of free thought and the scientific revolution. (Giordano Bruno was one of Castel Sant'Angelo's more famous prisoners.)
In 1889, Ettore Ferrari created the statue that now stands in the center of the square to commemorate Bruno.
Take a look at the philosopher's face.
He is gazing sternly straight across the Tiber River towards Vatican City.
Besides executions, the square was also the site of the burning of the Talmud, on September 9, 1553, the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
If you look for it, you can spot a plaque in the middle of the square that commemorates this day. It's often covered by the stalls of the Campo de Fiori market, but you can see it after they've cleared out.
In 1869, the fruit and vegetable market that had until then been held in nearby Piazza Navona moved here, where it has remained to this day.
Frankly, I find the market has become pretty touristy.
While you will still find fresh fruits and vegetables in some of the older stalls, half the stands now sell cheap clothing, souvenirs, etc.
Also, it would never have remained open on a Sunday, when most other markets in Rome are still closed.
Now you can find there is something of a Campo de Fiori market, even on a Sunday.
Regardless, if you want to visit the market itself, get here before 2 or 3pm when it closes up.
By late afternoon/early evening, the atmosphere comes to life as locals and tourists alike start to congregate for drinks and aperitivo.
The area is best visited on foot so you can explore the little side streets and hidden gems.
Absolutely! Staying in Campo de' Fiori puts you right in the historical center and heart of Rome.
Whether you are staying in this part of Rome or just wish to explore, here are some of my favorite things to do in Campo de' Fiori and the surrounding neighborhood:
Rome is packed with museums, and Campo dei Fiori is no exception.
This superb small museum of ancient art and sculpture is located at the intersection of via dei Baullari and Corso Vittorio Emanuelle.
It's free and absolutely worth spending an hour in.
A short walk from the piazza, this museum tells the history of Rome through art, film, and photography, with a particular focus on the 19th century.
This art gallery and former Baroque noble palace is chock full of sculpture and painting masterpieces by artists such as Gianlorenzo Bernini, Titian, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Guido Reni, among many others.
Not to be missed is this amazing perspective designed by master Baroque architect Francesco Borromini.
This palazzo in Piazza Farnese just next to Campo di Fiori houses the French embassy to Italy and is not generally open to the public.
You can visit it by booking in advance on their official website here.
It's absolutely worth it to see the stunning Renaissance architecture and the wonderful frescoes by Annibale Carracci in the Galleria Farnese.
Hidden away inside a gorgeous Renaissance courtyard inside Palazzo della Cancelleria, this small museum is dedicated to the life and works of the great Leonardo da Vinci.
You can see full-scale models of the Renaissance genius' inventions.
While not technically a museum, you may wish to visit this site, which was the actual location of Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BCE.
From all sides, you can see the ruins of four Roman temples that have been excavated here.
It also happens to be home to one of Rome's most beloved cat colonies.
One of the curious things about Campo dei Fiori is that it's Rome's only public square that doesn't have a church.
There are, however, a few churches in this neighborhood worth visiting, including:
Sant'Andrea della Valle was designed by Baroque superstar architects Carlo Maderno and Giacomo della Porta.
It's worth visiting for the architecture alone, but it also has some interesting art inside, including the 17th century dome frescos by Giovanni Lanfranco and Domenichino.
The dome, at a height of 80 meters/260 feet, is the second highest in Rome after the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica (although technically, St. Peter's is not in Rome, so the dome of Sant'Andrea della Valle is in fact the tallest in Rome.)
Another Baroque masterpiece in this area is the basilica of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini.
The church is important, in part, due to its being the site where Francesco Borromini and Carlo Maderno are buried.
It is the national church of Florence in Rome and the facade, by Maderno, is one of the most beautiful in Rome.
In this church, you will find a beautiful painting of Christ on the Cross by Guido Reni over the altar.
You can also attend Mass in Latin.
This stunning basilica in nearby Piazza Navona was designed by the great Baroque architects Francesco Borromini, Carlo and Girolomo Rainaldi, and Gianlorenzo Bernini.
You might not be able to tell very well from the outside, but it's worth going inside to see the cupola (dome.)
This beautiful Baroque church was founded in 1575 by St. Philip Neri (who is buried here) and his disciples, and contains artworks by famous artists such as Guido Reni, Pietro da Cortona, and Peter Paul Rubens.
This tiny church is worth seeing, not least for the charming little square it's in. And if you come here, don't miss trying the famous fried baccalà (cod) at Dar Filettaro just next to it.
Campo dei Fiori may not seem like a shopping destination but there are actually some great shopping options and a few cute little shops in the neighborhood if you know where to look.
Here are some of my favorites:
This is a small archway just off of via del Pellegrino which doesn't look like much, but it leads to one of the prettiest tiny piazzas in Rome.
This little covered alleyway connects via di Grotta Pinta to Piazza del Biscione, just off Campo de' Fiori.
It's possible the name "Biscione" derives from the powerful Orsini family's coat of arms which featured an eel.
The Passetto once housed a 16th century icon of the Madonna, now in the nearby church of San Carlo ai Catinari.
A Roman saying "andà a cercà Maria pè Roma", loosely translates to "go look for Mary somewhere in Rome", because the Madonna image was so well-hidden in the passageway that it was almost impossible to find.
In 55 BCE, Pompey built Rome's first stone theater. (On Largo Argentina, you can see the site of Julius Caesar's murder in 44 BCE. That spot was the back stairs of Pompey's theater.)
You can sort of visit this archaeological site in two ways.
By following the curvature of the street starting on via dei Chiavari then following via di Grotta Pinta around to Largo del Pallaro, you are actually tracing the shape of the exedra of the original theater of Pompey.
If you visit the restaurant Da Pancrazio in Piazza del Biscione, you can head into the basement to see ruins of the theater.
You can actually dine down there and in fact, I recommend it.
It's one of my favorite "old-school" restaurants in this area (I like to eat inside, at the table that is right by the window, so I can look out onto the little piazza there.)
Spoglia are re-used architectural elements from Ancient Rome, and you can often spot them around Rome.
In the Regola and Parione Rioni, which comprise the Campo dei Fiori neighborhood, you can spot these spoglia all over the place.
I highly recommend going inside Palazzo Spada for the museum, but especially for one of the area's best hidden gem's, Borromini's perspective.
But even a stroll that includes Piazza Capo di Ferro will allow you to see the beautifully decorated façade of one of the most important buildings in the area.
This unusual 16th century building, Palazzo Crivelli in Via dei Banchi Vecchi, is better known by its nickname due to the richly decorated facade with military figures that somehow resemble puppets.
If you look carefully on via dei Banchi Nuovi before it becomes via Monserrato, you can spot a stone in the wall.
This is the "Pomerium of Claudius" which commemorates the year 49 CE when Roman Emperor Claudius increased the boundaries of the city of Rome.
(Pomerium is a contraction of post moerium 'beyond the wall'.)
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Campo de' Fiori.
If you stay here, or even just come for a visit, take some time and explore this great place!
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