Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de’ Fiori is a paved modern square which means flower court or field of flowers in Italian.

campo de flori

campo de flori The name of Campo de’ Fiori comes from the middle ages when this square was a meadow and it had stuck as this area is a flower and spice market on Sundays.

This was a quite important square during the middle ages, being on the route between St. Peter’s and St. John the Lateran.

The Vatican, which is not too far away, used to place their notices here, papal bulls and the like and this was where they used to execute people who fell in to disfavour of the church such as the man in the centre of the square.

camp de fiori

camp de fioriGiordano Bruno was a philosopher, mathematician and contemporary of Galileo.

He was born in 1548 in Nola, not too far from Pompeii and became a priest in his twenties.

He was influenced by Copernicus who said the Earth went around the sun and proved much of it scientifically.

The church knew it did but they could not publicly contravene understanding of the the Bible, even though the Bible did not claim geocentricity; some pagan philosophers did and this was accepted knowledge.

campo del fiori

campo del fiori Bruno believed the universe was constantly expanding and he believed there was life on other planets and was the first writer in the Middle Ages to suggest both publicly.

Star Trek and Star Wars owe their concepts to him. His ideas on this and other matters got him excommunicated by the church, so he went to Geneva in Switzerland and joined the Calvinists or Presbyterians.

He worked as a math professor but was excommunicated by the Calvinists for slandering a colleague. So he got annoyed at their intransigence and left.

campo di fiori

campo di fiori marketHe lived in England for a while with the Episcopalians and later moved to Germany, teaching about Aristotle in Wittenberg where Luther started the Protestant Reformation.

He had to become a Lutheran to teach there and he was eventually excommunicated for his dissenting opinions.

He eventually returned to Venice and gave private lessons to a noble’s son. This son denounced him to the inquisition and he was arrested and tried for heresy.

Bruno was declared a heretic and handed over to authorities on February 8 1600.

At his trial he listened to the verdict on his knees, then stood up and said: “Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it.”

He was imprisoned in Castel St. Angelo for a month and was then brought to here to Campo de’ Fiori, his tongue in a gag, tied to a pole naked and burned at the stake, on February 17, 1600.

campo di fiori market

campo del fiori Over two hundred years later in 1889, the Freemasons erected this statue here in Campo de’ Fiori in his honor.

At that time in Rome, Italy had just become a unified country and they had taken Rome from the Vatican by force so there was a lot of anti-papal feeling at the time.

The statue faces Vatican in defiance of them. On the panels beneath him there are pictures from his life depicting his trial and execution.

Bruno had his own specific views on Christianity and cannot be claimed as Catholic or Protestant/Reformer; he was a contrarian.

Nowadays Campo de’ Fiori or simply Campo is one of Rome’s hot night spots for young people. It is a great square to have dinner or have a beer.

theatre of pompey

campo del fiori A short walk through Campo dei Fiori south east on Piazza del Biscione will bring you through a dark gated passageway, Passetto del Biscione, with a statue to the Virgin Mary inside.

You arrive in a small car park, Lardo del Pallaro, which keeps the curved layout and foundations of the Theatre of Pompey.

This is the location where Julius Caesar was murdered.

Just like in Piazza Navona, medieval Rome was built upon the ancient Roman foundations.

campo dei fiori market

If you would like to take a walking or driving tour of Rome including Campo dei Fiori you can send me an email via the link in the menu.

My Tour reviews: Dara McCarthy's Rome Walking Tour
3 hour Walking Tour of the Piazzas and Fountains of Rome Italy

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