Campo de' Fiori


Visit also the page about the surrounding areas: Via Giulia, Largo Argentina, Via del Corso

Piazza Campo De' Fiori

Piazza Campo de' Fiori owes its name to the "field of flowers" (the apostrophized de' instead of the Italian dei is typical of the Romanesque dialect) which existed before the current palazzi were built in the 15th century. It is very near Piazza Navona.

The palazzi encircle a very large square with inns, shops, and the famous colourful market still held every morning except Sunday, although currently its activity is being partly restrained. The square is the centre of a quarter with many facets.



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"MARCO POLO", a one bedroom, sitting room attic with large roof garden with spectacular views of all Rome (2-3 persons). Elevator

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"Flowers field": a stand

After the market hours, in the afternoon it is an intriguing meeting point, especially of those with a ring of creativeness.

At night tourists and Romans attend the many good pizzerie, restaurants, bars and cafes, rekindling the unique Roman atmosphere of history, art, love for life.

Despite the important monuments around the square, the highlight is still the world-acclaimed picturesque veg market. You will discover, as the early English writers did (Shelley, Keats, Byron etc.) that roaming about it is a pleasant and inspiring experience. If you are friendly with the peddlers they will pamper you.

In addition to the stalls, the large square is encircled by grocery stores, cafes, bars, restaurants, pizzerias, and pubs.


A friendly peddler proudly shows her products
The vivacious colours of the market
A large grocery store

However, and quite surprisingly, despite its poetic name and the amiable lively look, the square was in the past a site of assassinations. Julius Caesar was murdered in a subsidiary building of the Roman senate near the square (not in the Roman Forum!).


Giordano Bruno, a philosopher who advocated the separation between the political and religious power of the Church, was condemned and burnt alive by the Inquisition in 1600, right in the place where his statue stands today.
The statue was built by the patriots who fought for the reunion of Italy, which brought to the separation between the political and spiritual power of the popes.

Lucrezia Borgia's brother was poisoned in his palace overlooking the square.

The famous painter Caravaggio used to play of sort of tennis in the square, and murdered his opponent in a surge of rage.

Continuing Giordano Bruno's heritage, the square is nowadays a meeting point of intellectuals and of those who have an "alternative" lifestyle, not agreeing with the mainstream or with the establishment. Their meeting point is traditionally Bruon's statue, and also the cult movie theatre Cinema Farnese, on the Eastern side of the square.


Giordano Bruno's statue
Cinema Farnese

The square includes also important palaces and sights. Nearby, on the way to Piazza Navona, you find the elegant and majestic Palazzo della Cancelleria (below). Built at the end of the 15th century for Cardinal Riario, it is attributed to Bramante.

It was the "Cancelleria" (Chancellery) of pontifical acts. The long, elegant travertine facade is given rhythm by a series of pilasters. Vasari (1546) decorated the Sala Grande with frescoes showing scenes of the Pope's life. It is known as the "Hall of the hundred days", referring to the time it took to Vasari to complete the work ("It shows!", was Michelangelo's comment on it).

(Left): Palazzo della Cancelleria

The granite columns of the courtyard came from the original church of San Lorenzo in Damaso (4th century), whose remains are beneath the palazzo. In turn, beneath the ruins of the church excavations have found remains of the ancient Roman Foro Boario. An amazing, typical Roman overlapping of architecture and history.

In the opposite direction, towards the Tiber, very near you find one of the finest squares of Rome, Piazza Farnese. At one time animated by frequent celebrations, including bullfights it now includes very fine palaces, including the majestic Palazzo Farnese, the largest of the patrician palazzi, giving the name to the present austere Piazza.

Several architects worked on the palazzo. Works begun in 1514 by Antonio da Sangallo for Cardinal Alessandro Borghese, the future Pope Paul III. Michaelangelo was responsible for the design of the second floor, the cornice, and the two upper orders of columns in the most elegant courtyards. Giacomo della Porta completed the building, erecting the facade and the splendid loggia overlooking Via Giulia.Travertine marble framing the windows comes from the Coliseum.

Palazzo and Piazza Farnese

Today the palace is the seat of the French Embassy and of the magnificent library of the Ecole Francaise de Rome, a research institute for historians and archeologists, mainly with Italian books. In the interior, there are magnificent frescoes, by Francesco Salviati, Taddeo Zuccari, and especially by the brothers Annibale and Agostino Caracci.

In the Piazza one fids also the fine Church of Santa Brigida, and two fountains, parts of which are enormous granite basins taken from the Baths of Caracalla. The right fountain is shown in the photo.

(Left) The church of Santa Brigida

The area was also a reference for visitors. The Spaniards had their national church in Via di Monserrato, the English had the Venerable English college. The Bolognese, the Sienese, the Neapolitans (Spirito Santo dei Napoletani), and the Florentines had churches in Via Giulia.

Via dei Giubbonari

Via dei Cappellari

There were hotels for visitors, print shops and bookshops, and crafts of all kinds, still extant. The names of the little winding streets are very characteristic, revealing the underlying social background. Via dei Cappellari is hence the "Hatters' Street", Via del Pellegrino is the "Pilgrim's Street" (as it funnelled pilgrims from Capitol Hill to the Vatican), Via dei Giubbonari is the "Uniform makers' Street", Via dei Baullari is the "Trunk makers' Street", Via dei Chiavari is the "Locksmiths' Street" etc.

Bookshops can still be found in the Via del Pellegrino, trunks are still made in Via dei Baullari, Via dei Giubbonari has many clothes shops and tailors.
The church of San Carlo ai Catinari, at the end of Via dei Giubbonari, was dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo, and it was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Rosato Rosati. It belongs to the Barnabites. The dome, one of the highest in Rome, can be recognized for its round shape (click here to see it from the terrace of one of our apartments).

To visit the other quarters and sights, please go to:

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