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Campo dei Fiori - Find it and Get Lost!
Campo dei Fiori (it translates Field of Flowers, but don't expect a pastoral setting -- it was paved over in the 15th century) is another lively hub in the historic center of Rome. Best known for its morning market of flowers and vegetables which have replaced a former horse market. (I think the prices are great, especially considering the quality of the produce.) In the afternoon and evening, the vendors leave the square to the bars and restaurants. The piazza has a colorful history -- murders as well as executions. You'll find a statue in the piazza raised in memory of Giordano Bruno, a philosopher, who was burned at the stake in 1600 for "heresies" against the Catholic Church.
It was also here that the painter Caravaggio supposedly killed a tennis-game opponent after an argument, leading to his four-year flight from Rome on murder charges.
From here you should wander the wonderful small streets of the local neighborhood - it's the perfect area to get lost in and make your own discoveries.
A piazza where cultures clash: Campo de' Fiori
This Piazza is schizophrenic! By day, it is the seat of Rome’s flower market (as the name indicated) and it’s really worth seeing as it is the more “traditional” face of the Campo. By night, it’s a meeting point for Roman youth and tourists and the Campo manage to be even more cramped that the Porta Portese market at peak hour! So much that some resident are really, really not happy about the loud and rowdy crowd invading the Piazza every night. Although, it’s a lot of fun… let’s admit. But don’t hang out there for too long as you might become dizzy or claustrophobic. Although a lot of good bars are located here (if you can find a seat!). Usually, people make a meeting point of the statue that’s in the middle of the square. The bent and cloaked head of Giordano Bruno, Dominican priest, philosopher, mathematician and scientist, who dared contradict the Church about the infinity of the universe (Galileo was more lucky, he publicly renounced his theory under the pressure while still believing it). He is represented with his hands tied up, ready to be taken to stake where he would be burned alive by order of the Inquisition. A reminder of darker times, but also of courage in the face of adversity and the power of Enlightment.
Campo de' Fiori is a large local feeling square in the heart of Rome.
It is ringed by cafes and bars and is home to a fabulous flower and vegie market in the mornings, and is a happening place for nightlife in the evenings.
There are also some good clothing stores on the roads that lead into the square.
Yet another fabulous place to pull up a chair, order an espresso or vino and do some serious people watching/meeting....depending on how many of those vino's you've had!!
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Produce markets are always fun, and Rome's Campo de' Fiori is no exception. Set down right in the middle of the city, the square is a blaze of colour and fresh and fruity smells all morning and a popular place to hang out on the cafes and bars that ring the square in the afternoons and evenings after the market has packed up. The array of fruit and vegetables is dazzling - everything looks so fresh and, as no Italian housewife worth her salt would use anything second-rate to feed her family, the quality is superb. You'll see more varieties of tomato on sale here that you ever dreamt of - and each one has its own attributes and particular use. Prices are good too - this is where Romans come to shop so you won't be charged over-inflated tourist prices here as you will at the fruit stalls in places that tourists frequent.
The streets that lead into the market square are definitely the place to browse awhile - we found the perfect purple belt for a friend in one small shop and gorgeous embroidered bags in another - MrL's big purchase was a chunk of perfect pecorino. You'll find traces of the area's history in the street names - Campo de' Fiori means Field of Flowers and that's just what the place was until the 15th century (only yesterday in Roman-time) - an unused meadow. They still sell flowers here but although you can still buy a travelling trunk in Via dei Baullari (the street of the coffer makers), a book in Via del Pellegrino (the street of the bookbinders) and a fine suit in Via dei Giubbonari (the street of the tailors) you'll have a harder time finding a crossbow in Via dei Balestrari.
Drunken revellers and dirty deeds in back alleys can be a problem at night in the area - but that's nothing new. It was here that Caravaggio murdered a tennis opponent in a fit of wine-fuelled rage and Lucrezia Borgia's brother was poisoned in his palace overlooking the square.
A more intellectual tradition sees the square's cafes and bars being the favourite meeting place for the city's alternative thinkers - a tradition that honours the 15th century philosopher-monk, Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake here for his radical advocacy of the separation between the political and religious power of the Church. When that finally happened in the 19th century with the reunion of Italy, the men who fought that battle erected a memorial statue of Bruno on the spot where he died.
Best place to socialise
Campo de Fiori, translated literally means "Field of Flowers"; the origin of the name is (I think) because of the market established here, where in the morning you can buy flowers, of course, but not only: food, clothes and other stuff. This ancient square, wich in the center has the statue of Giordano Bruno (given to flames because supposed to be an heretic by the Catholic Church) is in the heart of Rome and has become a popular spot for meeting people. Campo de' Fiori with its small and narrow streets, various vehicle prohibitions and complicated road signs is best seen by putting foot to road and taking a tranquil stroll around. In the night hours, it's one of the best places to relax and socialise! There are many pubs, bars and restaurants and the habit is to crab a glass (plastic) of beer and standing out of the bar chatting with other people.
Just one street away from Campo de' Fiori, lies Piazza Farnese. Piazza Farnese owes its name from the imposing Palazzo Farnese. Alessandro Farnese, the future pope Paul III ordered this palace and it was built from 1514 until 1589. It took so long in fact, that the original architect, Sangallo the Younger, died and the project passed to Michelangelo. When it was being built, it was Rome's most expensive piece of real estate. The Cardinal de Richelieu and Queen of Sweden Christina (who lived in Rome after she abdicated) were guests of the house, amongst others. But the Farnese family didn't keep it for long. They couldn't afford to maintain it and in 1635, it became the French Embassy to the Papal States and the property of Louis the 14th and his heirs. After the French Revolution, Napoleon and Joachim Murat seized it and since 1874 (soon after the birth of Italy as a unified country), it became the French Embassy to Italy. It's also the site of the French School of Archeology and History.
And in case you didn't notice the "French Touch", this is where you will find a newspaper stands with the widest selection of French newspapers and magazines in town!
The other main features of the Piazza are the "tubs", two imposing granite fountains in the shape of a tub. They were imported from Egypt during Roman time and removed from the Carcalla Bath to here. Seems inviting to take a soak during those hot Roman summer days but... please don't, you may risk a huge fine. ;o)
For an optimal view, take via dei Farmesi from Campo de' Fiori has the Palazzo looms larger and larger and then, the fountains comes into view.
Experience an open air market in the heart of Rome
Ingredients are the starting point of any good meal. If you enjoy or have enjoyed food in Italy and don’t understand why that excuse for an Italian restaurant in your hometown can’t come close to your expectations. Ingredients is the starting point of any food investigation, even before technique or love. And this is one very convenient place to start looking for good ingredients. Buy a few things for a picnic cheese bread and a good tomato. If you don’t understand how exciting good produce can be..... there is a Mc what’sit just up the road.
The fresh porcini I purchased from this market went into the best risotto I have ever made.
Campo dei Fiori
It is very nice place for nice walk especially if you go there through the street Via Giulia.
There is the monument of Giordano Bruno in the centre of the place. There are still the stalls there.
They say it is the best moment to see it in the morning although we did two nice walks around in the evenings and it was very nice and romantic.
- Historical Travel
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Try the Market
Campo Dei Fiori is Rome at its finest. I stayed in a hotel in Campo dei Fiori so I got to know the area well. There are cafes (for morning cafe, paninis for lunch), delicious restaurants (some inexpensive ones too, but all good), gelati shops, shopping (great clothes!), supermarkets (tons of cheese), and coolest of all (a market in the middle of the piazza: with all kinds of stuff: fruits, veggies, clothes, knick knacks, souvenirs and you can bargain with them - no where else have I discovered this). It's a great little Roman hub where you can taste Roman life, culture, people, and of course great food (can you tell I loved the food?).
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Campo dei Fiori
Everyday Campo dei Fiori is filled with vendors of fruits, vegetables, fish, clothing, and assorted other goods. This colorful market place is open from 7 am til 1:30 pm and is a site to behold. The Campo is surrounded by bars and cafes where you can take a break and enjoy a capucino or cafe. People watching is high art in piazzas like this.
See the market on a Saturday
At the heart of Campo de' Fiori is a small square which is also an open-air market, Rome's most picturesque market and its most historical, according to my Eyewitness Travel Guide. This place has been a market for many centuries. Every morning, except on Sundays, can be found an array of stalls selling fruit, vegetables, cheese and cured meat, and whatnot (clothes, kitchen utensils), and dried fruits and beans.
It was a Saturday when we went, and the place was humming busy. Not as big, as varied, and as busy as I expected for a Saturday, still there was a lively crowd, a lot were tourists. The vegetable stalls were the most interesting. There were bushels of fresh greens which one can pick from and combine together for a salad mix -- a make-your- own mix. The stall selling decorative squash was also interesting, the shapes, colours, and textures of the squash were on their own pieces of art. I was intrigued by the different types of tomatoes and small aubergines. I was expecting more kinds of fresh mushrooms being sold at this time of the year, but only saw two types. There were a few stalls selling sauces for pasta, and different kinds of paté -- the latter could be sampled. These same stalls sold dried tomatoes, capers, and pasta as well. I was looking for stalls selling meat and cheeses, but found only one but selling only a few varieties. In the end, I opted for about 200 grams of capers, which cost me about 5 euros.
Overall, I was happy to have visited this market, as it is widely known but I was left quite underwhelmed. Somehow, it seemed touristy and a little artificial, hearing all these young men shouting their wares in english -- i probably would have to go to a small town or village market in a far-off region to have a feel of what is still very traditionally Italian.
The market is easy to find. The best way is to get off at Largo Argentina, where most public transport which goes in this area make a stop. This is the corner where the Area Sacra dell' Argentina is, a small complex of ruins right along the main street. From there it is less than 10 minutes' walk to the market. Just follow the Via Arenula, and on the 3rd corner, at Via Del Guibbonari, turn right and go straight on. That is a small shoppping street which ends right on the market.
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Campo de' Fiori
With its open air flower and vegetable market, along with the hustle and bustle of locals, Campo de' Fiori is easily the liveliest piazza in Rome. Its name derives from the field of flowers that it was in medieval times, rather than from the market, which only began in the 19th century. Walking through the amazingly fresh and delicious-looking produce in the market makes it easier to understand why food in Rome and Italy is better than anywhere else in the world. Campo de' Fiori is also a popular meeting spot for locals, particularly in the evening.
- Food and Dining
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My Favourite Piazza in all of Rome
Musician serenading you as you eat, street performers trying to dazzle , great restaurants as far as piazza restaurants go, tourists and locals sipping wine in the middle of the piazza and open markets with vendors selling their wares. This is Campo dei Fiore my favourite piazza in all of Rome. You really get a feel of what Rome is about in this little piazza. The open market is open during the day shutting down as the sun goes down.
In medieval times they used to execute people in the middle of the square with the most famous execution being of Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake by the church for being a herectic, his statue stands in the middle of the piazza. Remnants of Pompey's Theatre, where Julius Caesar was murdered are found inside some of the restaurants.
It is not hard to find Campo dei Fiore. You'll find it on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, across the street from the overrated Piazza Navona. Largo di Torre Argentina is down the street on the same side of the street.
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Courtyard of Flowers
This little Medieval courtyard of higglety-pigglety flats, cafes and inns was once a flower-sprigged meadow; the possible source of its name. Paved in the 1400’s, it became a lively meeting place and business center for tradesmen who had shops on adjoining streets, and aristocrats who occupied palaces and expensive homes along Via Giulia and other prestigious avenues nearby. An etching of the square done in 1752 illustrates the horse markets once held twice a week, and a public gallows used to punish minor criminals by dangling them high above the ground with a rope and pulley. Major offenders met a far worse fate here: see the large hooded figure watching pensively from his perch in the center? That’s philosopher Giordano Bruno - who was condemned by the church for heresy in 1600 and burnt near the spot where his memorial stands.
I wouldn't look too happy either.
Fortunately the only roasting going on here today is of pork or chicken served up by canopy-shaded trattorias, and a bustling fish and produce market carries on a six-day-a-week tradition that reaches back to 1858. A putter through to admire the bouquets, colorful fruits and vegetables, spices and other goodies for the table is a must, and I highly recommend grabbing a piazza-side table for a cappuccino and some people watching.
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CAMPO DEI FIORI
Campo de' Fiori is located in the heart of the Centro Storico, the historic centre of Rome, close to the Jewish Ghetto and Piazza Navona.
I went to Campo dei Fiori in the evening but I heard that this square is pretty busy in the morning too. Actually in the moring in this Piazza there is the vegetables and the flowers market and then in the evening one can go to one of the Irish Pubs that are located here. From here one can walk to the Piazza Navona area too. If I remember well there are about 6 bars/pubs in the Campo dei Fiori square.
Finally don't miss out the statue of Giordano Bruno, the philospher who was roasted to death by fire in the blazing market of Campo dei Fiori.
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