Campo de' Fiori
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|A visit to the fruit, fish and flower market of Campo de' Fiori will leave you gobsmacked. It’s colourful array of market stalls and unique buildings are far removed from the grassy field that it once was in the middle ages. The scene for public hangings during the time of the inquisition today it is much more peaceful and at night time it becomes a great spot for a drink “all aperto” or in the open air.
The Piazza is a very important historical site as it sits on top of the ruins of the ancient Theatre of Pompey. This was where Julius Ceasar was assassinated on the 15 of March 44 BC also known as the Ides of March. Caesar was lured to the theatre ignoring countless warnings not to do so (indeed a recent BBC documentary claims that he was dying anyway and consequently planned his own death in order to achieve martyrdom).
He was stabbed in the back, groin and armpits (traditional Roman kill areas) 23 times by all of the Senators including his protegee (some believe adopted Son) Brutus. When he saw Brutus he gave up the fight and laid down and died. His body was subsequently taken to the Roman Forum and Cremated.
In the centre of the Piazza you can see the Statue of Giordano Bruno. Giordano Bruno remains Rome’s favourite heretic, he believed in Galileo’s theory that the Earth moved round the Sun rather than the other way around... He also believed that the Earth was round and not flat which in 1600 during the Counter Reformation was just asking for trouble. As it transpired he was put in prison for 7 years in the nearby Castle St Angelo - Rome’s equivalent to the tower of London. Finally by order of the Vatican’s Holy Office he was brought to the centre of Campo de' Fiori and burnt at the stake.
Today the statue to Giordano Bruno in Campo de' Fiori is a vivid reminder of the love hate relationship between Rome and the Vatican. Indeed, ever since this execution the statue in Campo de' Fiori has been a rallying point for dissidents, revolutionaries and radicals.
Did You Know? The square was originally an open field of flowers hence the name Campo de' Fiori or field of flowers. It is also the only square in Rome without a church!
Campo de' Fiori is only 5 minutes walk from the Hotel Teatro Pace.