Friday, August 24, 2007

Campo de' Fiore: Pretty name, gruesome past.

The University of Washington's Rome Center is located in the Piazza del Biscone, which is itself located on a corner of the Campo dei Fiore (Field of Flowers). The name was given in the middle ages, when the square was still a meadow.

Capital punishments used to be held publicly in Campo dei Fiori: On February 17, 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was gagged, stripped naked, and burnt alive by the Roman Inquisition following a trial because his ideas were deemed heretical.

In 1887 a monument was erected on the exact spot of his death: he stands defiantly facing the Vatican. (See:

However, today the name of the square seems appropriate. During the day the square hosts a fruit and vegetable market.

In mid-afternoon, the fruit and vegetable venders vacate the square, which is then peaceful until about 7:00 p.m., when tourists and students begin arriving to dine and drink the night away.

For more information:'_Fiori

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