Rome is a city of famous piazzas: Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, and Piazza Campo de’ Fiori. The latter hosts one of the best known markets in the city. In fact, it’s the only open air market still running in the city centre.
The piazza and surrounding neighbourhood were named Campo de’ Fiori (Field of Flowers) after the wildflower meadow that grew there in the 15th century. The city square is also famed for witnessing the death of philosopher Giordano Bruno who was burnt at the stake for heresy in 1600. A hooded statue of Bruno now stands in the middle of the square at the exact location of his death.
Grim history aside, Piazza Campo de’ Fiori is now a bustling marketplace 6 days a week (no market on Sundays). At this market, you’ll find several fresh fruit and vegetable vendors who are known for having high quality, albeit slightly expensive produce. As you wander through the market rows, you’ll also be able to buy chopped fruit to eat on the go, freshly pressed juices (orange and pomegranate), spices, dry pasta, flavoured oils, fresh cheeses and meats, dried fruits, limoncello, house wares, and of course flowers. The cheese in particular smelled amazing. I wanted to buy a small block of cheese to snack on while I roamed through the market. That’s not weird, is it?
I’ll forewarn you that this market is geared more toward tourists than locals. It’s readily evident by the genre of products available. Can you spot the erotic novelty food in the photo below? Point proven. I doubt Italian grandmothers are buying that kind of fare to cook at home! Given that this is largely tourist-centric, you can barter a little bit with some of the vendors. Eyeing up that bottle of basil olive oil? If you show some interest and try to haggle down a little, I’m sure you’ll walk away with a good enough price.
I visited the Campo de’ Fiori market on a Saturday morning and it was a lively scene. The piazza was bustling with vendors advertising their products while visitors explored the sights, sounds, and smells of the market. Although it’s not the most authentic of markets, it’s worth stopping into Piazza Campo de’ Fiori for a vibrant and leisurely wander through the stalls. Now if you’re wondering where you can find an authentic market experience in Rome, keep an eye out for my future posts. I’ll point you in the right direction…
When: Monday to Saturday from 8am to 2pm. Closed Sundays.
Time needed: 30 minutes