Are you planning a trip to Rome or are you currently in the city and want to know what to see and do in Campo de’ Fiori?
You’ve come to the right place. This article details the top 11 things you should check out around Campo.
Pro Planning Tip: Consider bookmarking this article into a “Rome” folder in your browser. This way you can circle back to it while planning. Also, check out our Best Rome Tours so you can see the Eternal City right.
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- Top 11 Things to See in and near Campo de’ Fiori
The Top 11 Things to See and do in and Near Campo de’ Fiori, Rome
The name Campo de’ Fiori means field of flowers in Italian, but locally the square and even the area is referred to as Campo. Campo de’ Fiori is defined as a piazza geographically speaking. It is lined with bars and restaurants which makes it a Roman favorite for late nights out.
That said, the area is often referred to as Campo instead of Rioni Regola which is the name of the neighborhood. This is important because today in Rome you wouldn’t tell a local you’re heading to Rioni Regola for the evening. It’s unlikely they’d know where that is. You’d instead say, “Vicino di Campo” which means near Campo.
1. Giordano Bruno
The bars and restaurants in Campo de’ Fiori are all centered around one statue; Giordano Bruno. He was born in 1548 and died in 1600 of very unnatural causes. He was a Dominican friar which normally gave persons a lot of free time to study and learn. If you wanted to pursue a career in science or philosophy in the 16th century you’d normally join a religious group to help support your studies.
Bruno was a mathemetician and early cosmologist. These types of studies are dangerous territory by the way. Catholic Dogma declared the Earth was the center of the Universe and all other celestial spheres revolved around the Earth. Not much science behind this – it was God’s will.
The big challenge for people like Bruno was the stars. Other than one star, the north star, they sort of danced around the sky instead of following consistent paths as one would while in orbit. Copernicus was the first to theorize the Earth was not the center of the Universe and that we revolved around the Sun. Bruno went a little further to say that other planets may be home to living species and that the Universe was likely infinite which means there could be no center.
For such bright theorists, Bruno made some risky life decisions. His anti-dogmatic theories, which extended far past contesting geocentrism, were not welcome basically anywhere he went. This means every time he went to a new destination he was either prohibited to teach or ousted by force. He slowly moved around central Europe coming closer and closer to Rome.
His journey came to an end in Venice where he was put up in front of an inquisition. The Venetians handed him over to Rome where he was jailed and put on trial for seven years. Finally, on February 17th, 2020 (Ash Wednesday) he was burnt alive for his beliefs in Campo de’ Fiori where his statue stands. He was hung upside down naked and gagged so he couldn’t speak. Then he was set afire which must have been a horrible scene to witness.
Due to his persecution, his statue now stands for freedom of speech and oppression.
2. Campo Market
Campo de’ Fiori Market is a large open-air market in the center of Rome. It is undoubtedly the largest and most central open-air market in Rome. Today, the market is mostly outfitted for tourism. That said, it is still a cool market with fresh produce and products.
There is a great drive-up stand to get porchetta sandwiches in Campo and a cured meat shop, Norcineria Viola, which claims to be open and under the same family management since 1890. We go there on our food tour and the meats are delicious and the people inside are really fun.
The market is open from 7 am to 2 pm daily. Some stands stay open a bit later, but the market is completely closed down by 4 or 5 pm each day. You’ll want to show up around 9 or 10 am to have the true experience. Again, some locals purchase products there but it is mostly supported by tourism these days. Regardless it is a cool experience you should definitely check out.
The daytime market was originally in Piazza Navona up until 1869 until it was moved to Campo de’ Fiori.
Looking for a bite to eat? Check out our annually updated list of the best places to eat near Campo de’ Fiori in Rome!
3. Adjoining Roads
One of the most interesting local facts about Campo and the area is the story behind how they named the roads. Italian is a very beautiful language but it is based on Latin which makes it a very literal language.
The area around Campo in Rome was a textile heavy area. The road surrounding the piazza were mostly named after the shops on the roads – made things pretty easy to find.
- Via dei Balestrari – Crossbow Makers
- Via dei Cappellari – Hat Makers
- Via dei Chiavari – Key Makers
- Via dei Baullari – Coffer Makers (Treasure Chests!)
4. Piazza Farnese
Piazza Farnese is a quiet little piazza which can make it one of the most enjoyable places to sit and have lunch in the area. If you like a lot of hustle and bustle definitely dine in Campo but I prefer a relaxing lunch with a view. Piazza Farnese definitely provides that.
The piazza didn’t always exist. Alessandro Farnese purchased some of the houses in the square in the 16th century and leveled them to form the Piazza. Once he became Pope Paul III (1534-49) he hired Michelangelo to renovate his palace; Palazzo Farnese.
The Piazza features two fountains that arguably came from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. They are both beautiful and were installed for looks only. The fence built around them denied locals the use of this water system but the Farnese did build a functional fountain on Via Giulia known as La Mascherone which can still be seen today.
5. Palazzo Farnese
The centerpiece in Piazza Farnese is most definitely Palazzo Farnese (16th-century construction). As mentioned above, the building was renovated by Michelangelo but he did not do it alone. Giacomo della Porta among others made an impression on its footprint.
Today the building serves as the French Embassy but will be handed back to the Italian government in 2035 per the terms of the lease. That said, it can be visited as a museum and should be highly considered. There is a high concentration of artwork inside and not many visitors due to how complicated it is to make a reservation. You have to call in advance to make a reservation. They offer guided visits only at certain times.
Phone: +39 06 0608
6. Via Giulia & Arco Farnese
Via Giulia is one of Rome’s most prestigious addresses. It is a beautiful and centrally located road with access to Rome’s main roads which follow the Tiber River. There is also ample free parking there which makes it desirable.
The road is a historic road created by Pope Julius II (1503-1515) who also commissioned Sistine Chapel Ceiling by Michelangelo. Donato Bramante designed the road who was also in charge of an important church in Trastevere, San Pietro in Montorio, built over the point in which St. Peter was martyred upside down. While you likely have not heard of Donato, you will hear his name more often as you dive deeper into Rome’s 16th-century history.
Rome may appear to be extremely confusing today with its winding streets but this is much better than 14th century Rome. Many projects were put into place to install straight roads connecting different parts of the city and Via Giulia was one of them. The road became a cultural center for Rome once completed. Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) choose it as the location for his palace.
You’ll find churches and architecture by Borromini, Moderno and Giacomo della Porta. The road is the only main road that completely intersects Rioni Regola which locals refer to as “Campo” – defined by Piazza Campo de’ Fiori.
A point of interest is Palazzo Farnese which can be accessed from Via Giulia and Piazza Farnese. On the via Giulia side you’ll see L’Arco Farnese which is a bridge for the Farnese family from Palazzo Farense to Villa Farnese and the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orazione e Morte. The idea is to not have to leave your complex even when crossing the road to your other complex. It also would have provided the Farnese family with direct access to the Church.
€ | Casual/Quick | Kids | Outdoor Seating | Great Beer!
If you don’t know what a suppli is, you can thank me later. It is the go-to energy snack street food of Rome and even Italy. Kind of like a PowerBar but with fried rice and mozzarella instead of whatever they put in PowerBars.
This place is pretty cheap and really cool. Little tables where you can grab a quick suppli, beer, glass of wine or lasagna dish. You won’t write home about it but if you’re approaching hungry and in the area, you’ll probably revisit this hole in the wall.
Address: via dei Banchi Vecchi 143 | Hours: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm & 4:30 – 9:30 pm (closed Sunday)
8. Have a Drink
If there is one thing Campo de’ Fiori is known for today, its drinking. The square is without argument Rome’s largest piazza dedicated to bars and nightlife. The area is well connected to Trastevere, another great area for nightlife, which makes the area even more desirable for those wanting to let loose. Here are some of our favorite spots.
Jerry Thomas SpeakEasy – This 1920s inspired speakeasy named after the inventor of cocktails has been all the rage in Rome for the last 5 or so years. Its never really crowded but always fun and intimate. You have to call ahead to get the “code-word” which changes every night. If you love the 20s (1920s – no place for 2020 lovers here) then Jerry Thomas is your joint.
Sofà Bar Restaurant & Rooftop Terrace – Looking for fancy? This rooftop bar and restaurant is the place to be for those who have money to spend who want a great view. Sit high above the commoners and enjoy an expensive drink with a view that makes it all worth it.
The Drunken Ship – Looking to get stupid with some friends? This bar sits at the heart of many study-abroad students and Anglo-Saxon travelers. You won’t find great food or amazing wine, but they have cold beer and drinks full of ice. Irish Dave is the local celebrity bartender you’ll likely see while visiting.
9. Theatre of Pompey
Completed in 55 BC the Theatre of Pompey (Pompeii Latin) is best known for being where Gaius Julius Caesar was murdered by a group of Roman Senators in 44 BC. Prior to that day, the theatre was most commonly used for non-violent theatrics.
Pompey was a Roman General and statesman which would have brought great wealth during that period. With large titles and large amounts of money comes a large ego. Pompey would have wanted to be remembered in history and no better way to do that other than building a large public-use building and name it after yourself.
After building it he must have felt insecure about how well he would be remembered and decided to start plotting Caesar’s death. Now, all Roman history buffs know Pompey!
A theatre at the time would be a place for people to get together and watch plays and dramatics. It would have been decorated so well that it had a museum-like feel. It would also have been used for Roman Senators to meet which is why Caesar would have not suspected any foul play meeting there on that fateful day in March.
Today, you can’t see much remains of the theatre or gardens attached to the theatre. That said, the foundation was re-used to build many Roman houses and apartments. If you walk over to Via di Grotta Pinta you’ll see on the oddly curved street that resembles a theatre – that is because it once was a theatre!
There also is a small and slightly creepy passageway named Passetto del Biscione which is built into the only visible remains of the structure. There are some ruins in Largo Argentina, below, which is believed to have belonged to Pompey’s structure as well.
10. Sant’Andrea della Valle
Completed in 1650 with over 60 years of construction, the Church of Sant’Adrea della Valle or Saint Andrew of the Valley is a pretty amazing minor Basilica.
It is a shining example of how there is simply too much amazing artwork and architecture in Rome for any person to see in one trip. Inside you’ll find work from Giacomo della Porta, Carlo Moderno, Giovanni Lanfranco, and Domenichino to name a few.
If you head in, be sure to take a look at the Strozzi Chapel which is the first on your right. The bronze sculpture of Pieta, Leah and Rachel is a copy of Michelangelo‘s original.
11. Largo di Torre Argentina – Republican Temples
The area of Largo Argentina was forgotten for some time but rediscovered in 1928 when some demolition was done to widen some of Rome’s streets and make way for innovation which can be difficult in a city like Rome. Inadvertently, we found four temples dating back to the early Republic of Rome. They are considered to be possibly the oldest temples in Rome.
Due to the speed at which excavations happened in the 1920s left a lot to be wondered. Specifically what deities they were built for and when. Estimates place Temple C, arguably the oldest, to the 3rd century BC which could be dated back to 290 BCE.
Today, the piazza, which is considerably lower than the street level, is home to a cat sanctuary. You can see cats spread about in a lazy fashion. It’s good for a photo.