An Insider’s Guide to Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori Neighborhood

written by Dajana 9. January 2020
An Insider’s Guide to Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori Neighborhood

Campo de’ Fiori is within walking distance to Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Largo Argentina, Piazza Venezia, the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere and will definitely be on your must-see list for Rome. Be prepared because yes, it will be pretty touristic, but if you are willing to explore some of the insider tips in Campo de’ Fiori as well as some of the medieval streets surrounding the piazza, you’ll find some great spots! We put together the best street food spots, bars, bakeries and more for you! 

A Piazza unlike every other

Rome’s piazze are the center of daily life and definitely worth a visit, even though the most famous ones will always be crowded. And while usually important churches accompany most of the piazze in Rome – just like Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo – Piazza Campo de’ Fiori stands out as a being a churchless one. Historically, this piazza has always been based around trade and commerce, so it is still today.

Instead of a church you’ll find a statue of Giordano Bruno at its center. The mathematician, philosopher, poet and cosmological theorist was known for his “anti-clerical” ideas. He was sentenced to be burned in 1600 at exactly the point where you’ll find his statue today that was put up in 1889, shortly after the unification of Italy in 1861, when the Church lost its political power. Interesting fact: Bruno’s gaze is directed straight at the ones that executed him, the Vatican.

Socializing, food & shopping

Campo de’ Fiori is at the heart of Rome and will definitely be on your must-see list. Come here in the morning to see the thriving daily market that unfortunately became pretty touristic. Still, there are a few stands selling great fresh fruit and vegetables. What makes this piazza so interesting is that medieval streets spider out from Campo de’ Fiori in many different directions.

Many of them were named after the trades once performed in this area: check out Via dei Cappellari (named after hat makers), Via dei Chiavari (named after key makers), Via dei Giubbonari (named after coat makers), and the famous Via Giulia behind Piazza Farnese. You’ll find some cute little artisan shops and galleries around here.

Let’s talk about food!

I used to live in Rome for one semester of my master’s program back in 2011/2012. Since then I’m in Rome at least once a year and lately even ofter. And as much as I love discovering new places, there are some local icons I need to check out every time I’m in Rome. Of course I’m talking about food. Let me help you find your culinary way through the busy Campo de’ Fiori neighborhood.

1. Antico Forno Roscioli

Via dei Chiavari 34, open Monday – Saturday from 7am to 7:30pm

It’s almost impossible to walk past Antico Forno Roscioli without stopping there for a midday treat: this bakery has been around since 1874 and is part of the Roscioli family’s food empire. They also own a restaurant and wine bar near the bakery. You’ll immediately notice the heavenly scent of fresh bread, pies and sweet treats that will make you hungry even if you just had something a few minutes ago. Go for a small piece of pizza al taglio, treat yourself with a pie to share with your travel partners or buy some edible presents for your loved ones at home.

Insider tip: Don’t let the often long lines intimidate you! The staff is friendly and super efficient. They will make sure to not let you wait too long.

2. Antica Norcineria Viola

Piazza Campo de’ Fiori 43, open Monday – Wednesday & Friday – Saturday from 8am – 8pm, Thursday from 8am – 10pm, Sunday from 10am – 6pm

In Italy you’ll usually go to your local butcher to get some fresh meat in exactly the amount you need. But what about cured meat? You need an expert for that. Antica Norcineria Viola is exactly what you were looking for! “Norcineria” comes from Norcia, a town in the Umbria region in central Italy known for its high-quality cured meat products. Viola in Campo de’ Fiori opened its doors in 1890 and has been family owned ever since. It is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for prosciutto, salami or guanciale. Usually they’ll have a little tasting plate and you can even ask for a piece of salami, prosciutto or guanciale before buying the desired amount.

Insider tip: try the salami with Barolo red wine and the coppiette di prosciutto. Don’t feel like you have to buy a whole prosciutto leg: you can also get small amounts. If you want to bring some of the products back home ask the staff for a vacuumed packaging.

3. Barnum Cafe

Via del Pellegrino 87, open Monday from 9am – midnight, Tuesday – Saturday from 9am – 2am 

Do not always follow the crowd – especially when you are in Rome! I promise you that this will be the best decision ever. This is how you’ll discover Barnum Cafe. Go there for a quick coffee after your tour through the market in Campo de’ Fiori, have a healthy lunch or tasty cocktails in the evening. A relaxed atmosphere as well as awesome playlist are guaranteed all day long.

Insider tip: Via del Pellegrino is actually also one of my favorite streets in Rome. Check out the little artisan shops, and discover one of Rome’s most popular hidden courtyards. Watch out for a striking passage in Via del Pellegrino when on your way to Barnum: you’ll find one of Rome’s most popular hidden courtyards there!

4. Dar Filettaro

Largo dei Librari 88, open Monday – Saturday, 5:30pm – 11:30pm

Located in one of the smallest and most ancient squares in Rome by Santa Barbara Church and only a few minutes walking from Campo de’ Fiori, you’ll find the local icon, Dar Filettaro. This typical and very easy going Roman street food shop has been serving baccalà since the 50’s and it is probably the biggest baccalà you’ll see. Their secret? Keeping it simple plus the freshest fish you can get and an exceptionally good batter. But don’t expect your baccalà to come with chips. Instead eat it like the Romans do: order filetti di baccalà and eat them wrapped in paper while boiling hot in the piazza or take a seat, order baccalà, some fried zucchini and puntarelle salad. And have a beer or two with it.

Insider tip: Dar Filettaro is not open for lunch, so make sure to be there for a snack before dinner if you want to avoid waiting to long for a table. And grab your baccalà to go. It’s even nicer to enjoy it while sitting in the piazza and observing people.

5. Forno Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de’ Fiori, open Monday – Saturday from 7:30am to 2:30pm, 5pm – 10pm

Yes, there’s definitely food all around Rome. And yes, there are still some of these little places that have been open for decades. Forno Campo de’ Fiori – just right behind the flower stand in Campo de’ Fiori – is one of these places you need to put on your must-eat-list: while the bakery looks pretty unimpressive from the outside, their pizza bianca is extraordinarily good and has become legendary. You can never be too full for a little slice of pizza al taglio, especially not if it is a really life-changing one: a fluffy focaccia bread gently seasoned with sea salt and olive oil.

Insider tip: Be there around noon when the pizza bianca comes fresh out of the oven. Best to be enjoyed while wandering through the city center, just like a true Roman.

6. Open Baladin Roma

Via degli Specchi 6, open from Monday – Sunday from 12pm – 2am

Open Baladin Roma officially opened in 2009, is owned by the Piedmont-based Baladin brewing company and Lazio’s own Birra del Borgo, and was quickly named one of the best places to enjoy Italian beers in Rome. They have a large number of beers to choose from, ranging from their own Baladin beer, to well-known Italian brewers as well as some international brands. In addition to bottled beers, there are 20+ beers on tap.

Ask the staff for their recommendations – some of the beers are very strong in taste and have some exciting aromas. I go to Open Baladin for two reasons: my favorite Baladin craft beer and their signature hand-cut potato chips, “fatate“. When in Rome, you’ll most probably find me there sipping on a glass of Nora, Isaac or Super Bitter while eating fatate.

Insider tip: On weekends it gets pretty crowded. But don’t run away if there should be a line in front of the bar. Walk in, tell the waiter or waitress your name, make a reservation and wait for a few minutes. It is worth it!

7. ZUM

Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, open from Sunday – Thursday from 11am – 11:30pm, Friday – Saturday 11am – 1am

And last but not least: ZUM Roma, a place that has been named after the three main ingredients of tiramisù: zucchero (sugar), uovo (egg) and marcarpone. This tiramisu joint is specialized in tiramisù. Opt for a classic tiramisù or try one of their unique special creations. Available to takeaway or to eat in at their stylish bar while overlooking the open kitchen where the tiramisù-magic happens. And for all my lactose- or gluten-intolerant readers: do not worry! ZUM is offering lactose-free and gluten-free tiramisù as well as a selection of cookies adapted to your diet, too.

Insider tip: Get a special tiramisù with seasonal toppings and enjoy your dolce with a coffee. Go there and thank me later! 

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