The Campo de' Fiori (Field of Flowers) is the only Roman piazza to be called a campo. Today, it is home to a large and bustling market, but it was once the site of public executions.
Until 1798 the Campo de' Fiori was dominated by a tall gallows. It was also the location for the ‘tormento della corda’, a gruesome form of torture, which involved suspending someone in the air with their arms tied behind their back in order to dislocate their shoulders.
There is a reference to this mode of torture in the name of a small street, the via del Corda, which leads into the campo.
In the centre of the square looms a statue of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), who was executed on this spot on February 17th 1600. Bruno was a monk and a philosopher, whose crime was heresy (he happened to believe in the theories of Copernicus), for which he was burnt to death.
The statue, the work of Ettore Ferrari, was erected in 1889 as a posthumous tribute to free speech.