Even During Medieval Times, Campo de’ Fiori Was a Colourful and Lively Area:
Situated just south of Piazza Navona is Campo de’ Fiori, a typically Roman piazza and one of our favourite haunts in Rome. Campo de’ Fiori has many of the attractions that visitors come to Rome to enjoy, ancient sites, shops, restaurants, pubs and more.
Campo de’ Fiori
Each morning a picturesque market takes place in the piazza and local shoppers, cafe and restaurant owners and tourists come here to shop for fruit and vegetables, spices and other foodstuff. Even if you’re not buying anything, it’s interesting to see what’s in season at the market.
Come nightfall, Campo dè Fiori transforms into a hub for diners and night-lifers. The many restaurants and pubs around the piazza do a roaring trade refueling the hungry and the thirsty, while musicians try to make a Euro or two serenading the diners or entertaining the crowds in the Campo.
Historical Campo dei Fiori
Campo de’ Fiori (field of flowers) takes its name from the meadow that once existed here. Since medieval times, it has always been a colourful and lively area, but the Campo has not always been an area of entertainment and enjoyment. The piazza was notorious for being a rough area and for centuries it was the stage for public executions – some may say that during medieval times public hangings was seen as a form of entertainment.
In 1600, the Dominican monk, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Bruno Giordano was burnt alive in the piazza for daring to espouse his astronomical belief that the sun was essentially a star. The towering hooded statue in the middle Campo de’ Fiori marks the exact spot of his death.
In 1606 Caravaggio was said to have killed a young man in a brawl on the piazza and had to flee from Rome as a consequence. Another murder in the area was that committed by Cellini the goldsmith who killed his business rival.
A Shopping District
Branching off Campo de’ Fiori are many historical streets that are worth visiting. Lined with an assortment of retail shops, they still bear the name of craftsmen who once worked there, such as Via dei Baullari (coffer-makers), Via dei Cappellari (hat-makers), Via dei Chiavari (key-makers) or Via dei Giubbonari (tailors). If you love shopping, this is where you can find local shops with more affordable prices. At night, stalls spring up in the side streets, selling sunglasses, DVDs, jewelry, etc.
Hotels around Campo de’ Fiori
Campo de’ Fiori is where we usually stay whenever we are in Rome. There are many hotels around the square, but a word of advice here – if you are sensitive to noise, which will come from the pubs and revellers in the evenings, and the market and garbage trucks in the morning, look for a hotel just off the square.
Campo de’ Fiori is a convenient base to explore Rome’s historical centre on foot. It is also easy to get to Termini Station as the buses that run along Largo Argentina connect Campo de’ Fiori to Rome’s central station.