Reub's journey

07 July 2010

Campo de Fiori

Piazza Campo De Fiori is a vibrant plaza in central Rome, alive all day and much of the night. The statue in the middle is of Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake on this site in 1600 (and worthy of his own post, maybe tomorrow). Teenagers hung out at his feet every night; I wondered how much they knew of the man towering above.

Our little hotel was just around the corner and built with such thick walls that we never heard a sound from the street. I loved the blue walls of our room, and the vaulted ceilings. A few years ago after observing the yellow, salmon-red, and orange walls of many interiors in Ireland, I came home and painted my kitchen yellow-orange. Will it all go over to sapphire blue now? Maybe, but would it be the same without the arched ceiling?

We watched some world cup games in a cafe at the edge of Campo de Fiori: this subdued crowd is watching Slovakia beat Italy.

The game didn't work out, but the pizza and beer were sure good. I took pictures of most of my meals in Italy and possess far more shots of pasta than of basilicas.

Every morning there is a busy fruit, flower, and food market set up in the piazza.

In the afternoon the vendors go home, leaving a big mess; people walk past it without seeming to notice. Recycling has a long way to go in central Rome.

Soon after the market stalls disappear, though, the street cleaners come around and whisk away the refuse. Where do they take it? I don't know. This old-school system is under attack by the EU, and bound to change.

The next morning the vendors set up on the clean cobbled plaza and the gorgeous flowers reappear: Campo de Fiori, "field of flowers," the way in which most visitors prefer to remember it.


  1. Hehe, I'm guessing the teenagers know next to nothing about Giordano Bruno. Now, as it happens, neither do I but "burned at the stake" almost always connects to "for something deemed heresy". In Rome it's a bit difficult to imagine that the fellow was burned for too strict an adherence to Catholicism. In fact, mostly it seems that Protestants met that fate. Something about their accusers simulating the hell-fires in which they would burn eternally (according to a painfully literal interpretation).

    Just saying that I think it unlikely that the teens would knowingly gather at a the feet of a guy who likely died for his faith. Died to extend curfew? Died in pursuit of the right to have a messy room, and little ambition? Yeah, that sounds like the patron saint of most teens (including me, back in the day).

    Hello! Hardly had any coffee yet, which makes me babble a lot (I'm sure you noticed) but I wanted to thank you for an unexpected, pre-coffee trip to Rome :-)

    I'll like wake up later, painting things sapphire. It looks like you had a lovely trip.

  2. These are awesome! I really love the blue walls and the food shots. I always try to take pictures of food but they never seem to turn out very well. So I just eat and drink and forget about it. ;o)

  3. wonderful photos and post, thanks for the mini tour.

  4. Oh, what an incredible trip. I adore those blue walls. Sigh.

  5. OH, I was so disappointed to see the mess left by the vendors. Until then I was totally enchanted with Rome.


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