Campo de’ Fiori is one of the prettiest and liveliest squares in Rome where you can easily spend several hours exploring the architectural and gastronomic treasures.
The first thing that springs to mind at the mention of Campo de’ Fiori is the famous daily food open-air market. Although, a few stalls are unashamedly tourist-touting, many fruit and vegetable vendors sell excellent seasonal produce. The solemn statue of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in the piazza in 1600, looks from above on the buzzing crowd.
|Campo de' Fiori|
Check out the busy the Campo de’ Fiori bakery that is popular with tourists and locals alike. Every day it bakes fresh crunchy breads, delicious pizzas and cookies. Another gastronomic delight not to be missed is the Norcineria Viola that has been selling traditional charcuterie products since the 19th century.
A few steps from the square is Palazzo della Cancelleria, an elegant Renaissance palace built by the famous Donato Bramante for a cardinal. Part of the building houses a permanent exhibition of fascinating machines built to Leonardo Da Vinci’s descriptions.
|Palazzo della Cancelleria|
Another small museum that is worth visiting is the Museo di Scultura Antica with an excellent collection of Egyptian, Roman and Phoenician art, and Greek sculptures that were donated to the city of Rome by a private collector, Giovanni Barracco.
To escape the noise and blazing sun of the Italian capital step inside the stunning churches located in the area: Sant'Andrea della Valle, Basilica di San Lorenzo in Damaso and the tiny 14th century Santa Barbara dei Librari.
A short stroll from Campo de’ Fiori you will find the Galleria Spada which houses a beautiful collection of 16th and 17th century painting including works by Tiziano, Caravaggio, Rubens, Albrecht Dürer. The building is also famous for its optical illusion gallery where Francesco Borromini created the so-called “forced perspective”: what looks like a life-size sculpture at the end of a long row of columns is only 60 cm high.
Photos via Flickr by: Lauren Jong, David Macchi, Franco Torcellan.