Two of the areas which best represent Rome, Navona and Campo dei Fiori are to be found a short walk away from each other, on either side of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
Here bottegas offering handcrafted products thrive alongside more recent businesses while antique noble buildings alternate with modern hotel chains.
The origins of the name "Campo dei Fiori" are disputed. According to some it dates to medieval time when the piazza was a meadow full of flowers, while for others, it was named after Flora, the ancient Roman Pompeo's love interest. Over the years the area has undergone numerous urban regeneration and restoration projects, ordered by the Popes.
The piazza was, for a long time, the home of public executions. The statue in the middle of the square is of revolutionary philosopher Giordano Bruno, burnt for heresy in 1600. Today the square is home to numerous pubs, bars and restaurants. Romans and tourists alike enjoy sitting at one of the tables, sipping wine and watching the passersby. The pubs stay open into the early hours and the area attracts a young crowd, who have made Campo dei fiori, along with Trastevere, the center of Rome's nightlife.
Since 1869, the square has hosted a daily market, immortalized in the film "Campo dei fiori", staring Italian actors Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi. Stalls of fruit and veg alternate with those selling clothes and souvenirs, but the highlight is the photo opportunity with the two flower stalls on the sides of the square.
Don't miss the fresh produce market, every day except Sunday between 7 and 13.30 h (1.30pm).
For more information visit our Campo de' Fiori page.
Piazza Navona dates from ancient Rome, when it was a stadium used for athletic competition. The ruins of the Domizian stadium under the square can be visited. Piazza Navona developed its current "look" during the baroque period, thanks to the Pamphili family, whose home overlooks the square. Also on the square is Palazzo Braschi with its museum of 17th to 19th century treasures, through which Rome's history can be traced, as well as interesting temporary exhibitions.
At the center of the square there are three large fountains; the Moor Fountain, the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Four Rivers. The first two were designed by Giacomo della Porta and sculpted with the help of Bernini, the third was all Bernini's work. Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers is the central fountain in the square. It is an Egyptian obelisk in Roman style surrounded by allegorical representation of the four longest rives in the world, as known at the time: the Nile, the Gange, the Danube and the Rio della Plata. According to legend the statue which represents the Rio della Plata covers its face in protection from the eventuality of the collapse of the nearby Chiesa di Sant'Agnese.
The church was designed by Borromini, Bernini's grand rival. The church, built in 1652, is a fine example of baroque architecture. Unlike the other buildings facing onto Piazza Navona, The Chiesa di Nostra Signora del Sacro cuore was built in the 13th century to commemorate the deaths of the Christian martyrs who died in Domitian's stadium.
Don't miss the yearly "Festa della Befana" on January 6, starting at 11 h in the morning.
Find more information on our page about Piazza Navona.
Due to its non-traditional physical appearance, Romans have nicknamed this building the "palazzaccio".
Owned by the Vatican, this structure was built in the 15th century and till this day hosts the Holy See's courts.
Designed by Borromini, it is a fine example of baroque. On the first floor there is a museum with works by artists such as Tiziano and Guido Reni.
Built in 1600, it owes its name to the catini factories nearby, and was dedicated to Carlo Borromeo.
This museum boasts a fine collection of Egyptian and Greek art and is found in via dei Baullari.
Della Porta, Grimaldi and Maderno collaborated on the design and building of this church, which was made famous by Puccini when he set "Tosca" here.
The square shares its name with the statue in its center, at the foot of which, since the 16th century, have hung satirical notes against church and state.
Found in the Palazzo Braschi, built in the 15th century by the Orsini family, the museum boasts both a permanent collection and temporary art exhibitions.
Dating from the 16th century, this church is famous for the works of Giulio Reni, Raffaele and Caravaggio's frescos held within its walls.
There is a large archeological area with Roman ruins at the center of this square.
Built in the 15th century at the request of the politician Girolamo Riario, it holds an impressive collection of Greek and Roman art.
Campo de' Fiori - historic square in Rome with the statue of Giordano Bruno in its center.
Built in 146 BC by a certain Ottavius, the gate was rebuilt in 23 BC by Augustus who dedicated the imposing construction to his sister Octavia, thus leaving its name’s unchanged.
The famous square Piazza Navona used to be a stadium and later a market. Today it is the center of Baroque Rome and the perfect place to admire art work from Borromini and Bernini.
One of Rome's most characteristic monuments, the Pantheon is famous for the hole in its dome. Originally a pagan temple, today it houses the remains of Italy's kings.
The service of pawnshops was introduced in Rome only in 1604 at the request of the Franciscan Order.
The cloister built by Bramante in 1500 is part of the Santa Maria della Pace church. It currently hosts temporary art exhibitions.