A little bit of history
Campo de’ Fiori is a square situated between Palazzo della Cancelleria and Palazzo Farnese. Campo de’ Fiori in Italian means “field of flowers”, the name was first given during the Middle Age, when the area was actually a meadow.
In Ancient Rome the area was an unused space between Pompey’s Theatre and the flood-prone Tiber. Even though the Orsini established themselves on the south flank of the space in the 13th century, until the 15th century the square remained undeveloped, but in 1456 under Pope Callixtus III, Ludovico Cardinal Trevisani paved the area: this was part of a greater project of improvement of the rione Parione.
The square has always remained a focus for commercial and street culture: the surrounding streets are named for trades—Via dei Balestrari (crossbow-makers), Via dei Baullari (coffer-makers), Via dei Cappellari (hat-makers), Via dei Chiavari (key-makers) and Via dei Giubbonari (tailors).
Executions used to be held publicly in Campo de’ Fiori. Here, on 17 February 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt alive for heresy, and all of his works were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Holy Office. In 1889 Ettore Ferrari dedicated a monument to him, today famous as the Giordano Bruno statue, on the exact spot of his death.
During the day, this square hosts one of the most famous markets of Rome, and at night, Campo de’ Fiori is a nightlife meeting place for tourists and young people coming from the whole city.
When to go
The perfect period to come and visit this area is spring or summer, so you can enjoy the beautiful market and all the shops in the surrounding streets.
The best part of the day to come and walk in this district is definitely the morning, because the market is opened from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m., so you can visit it and enjoy the amazing food we have and you can learn a lot of things on our culinary traditions.
When the market closes, in this square begins the aperitivo time. All the restaurants and bars in the square organize the “happy hour”, where you can drink and eat at the buffet whatever you want. It’s a very common social event between young people, and this is one of the best place for the best aperitivo.
What to eat
This is one of the most famous area for restaurants and bars. If you’re walking around these streets and you get hungry you can try some pizza or if you want to have dinner you should get some carbonara, one of the most famous pasta of Rome (and of Campo de’ Fiori).
Since this is one of the district of the nightlife in Rome, you will find a lot of bars and gelaterie, so you have to try our espresso or an amazing cup of original and 100% artisanal Italian gelato.
Where to eat
Some of the best restaurants and food shops of this area are not right on the square, but for sure the best restaurant in Campo de’ Fiori is La Carbonara, where you can taste one of the best carbonara of Rome.
There are other amazing places near Campo de’ Fiori, like for example Roscioli (a pretty new restaurant in Via dei Giubbonari 21, opened by the owner of the Antico Forno Roscioli, an amazing forno where you can eat the best pizza rossa of Rome), and Camponeschi (in Piazza Farnese 50, right next to the French Embassy).
If you don’t want to have lunch or dinner, but you’ve been walking for hours and you need a break, a coffee and something to eat, you should definitely go to Caffé Perù (Via di Monserrato, 46, opened since 1933); but if it’s summer and it’s way too hot for coffee, you should go get yourself one of the most particular and tasty gelato of Rome at Punto Gelato (Via dei Pettinari, 43), where the strange recipes invented by the Chef and owner Günther, will make you fall in love with Italian gelato and will make you understand the differences between gelato and ice cream.
The perfect place for the aperitivo is Obicà, right on the square of Campo de’ Fiori (aperitivo time is usually between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.).
How to reach it
This area is situated between Via dei Giubbonari and Piazza della Cancelleria, you can easily get there with all the buses that stop in Corso Vittorio Emanuele (like for example the 40 or the 64), and from there you can walk for 200 m directly into the square.
Any enquiry about this article? Write to Valeria at love @ gourmetaly. com. Valeria is a local foodie and insider, she studied Archaeology with a PhD in Numismatics. Meet Valeria joining one of our events.