Campo dei Fiori, Rome The History of this Piazza The piazza known as Campo dei Fiori sits on the unused space that was between Pompey’s Theater and the Tiber River in ancient Rome. Because the river was prone to flooding, the area was undeveloped for many centuries. It wasn’t until the 15th century that the piazza began to take shape. The first building that appeared there was a church known as Santa Brigida a Campo dei Fiori, which now faces Piazza Farnese, part of the old Campo dei Fiori. In 1456, as part of a city improvement project, the area was paved. The project was initiated because several important buildings had already been constructed in the area, including the Orsini palace and the Palazzo della Cancelleria. The architecture was never really formalized for Campo dei Fiori as it was for many public squares in Rome and throughout Europe, so the visitor won’t see a lot of continuity in the buildings that surround the square. Instead, the square has always remained a focus for commercial and street culture though the area around Campo dei Fiori was at one time quite a wealthy neighborhood.turkeyarena.com Giordano Bruno Statue Public executions also took place at Campo dei Fiori. One of the more well-known was that of Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, who in the year 1600 was burned at the stake by the Roman Inquisition because the ideas he spoke of were “dangerous”. In return, nearly 300 years later, sculptor and philosopher Ettore Ferrari designed a statue of Bruno and placed it in the piazza, facing the Vatican as if in defiance of all it stands for. Bruno is now considered an advocate and martyr of the right to free speech. Campo dei Fiori Today Some things haven’t changed a lot around this busy public piazza. Since 1869, a vegetable and fish market is held here every morning. The former La Terrina, which used to serve as a watering place for cattle, now holds fresh flowers, the only indication that a meadow was once located here. At night, Campo dei Fiori is a popular gathering place for young adults, both locals and visitors, who travel here to enjoy the cafes and nightspots that surround the piazza.