One of the nicest private tours of Rome is a walk around Campo de' Fiori, a famous Roman square, whose name means field of flowers.
The name may come from the gardens that stood in its place until the sixteenth century.
The square was paved in the late sixteenth century by Pope Callistus III. Since then, many important buildings were later built in the surrounding area - in particular the Orsini Palace, which looked right on Campo de' Fiori.
The square where this Rome tour begins became therefore a place of passage for important personalities, such as ambassadors and cardinals.
As a consequence, many shelters, inns, and artisans shops were built in Campo de' Fiori, and it became the center of several commercial and cultural activities.
Campo de' Fiori also became the place where executions were carried out: in 1600, the philosopher and Dominican friar Giordano Bruno was accused of heresy and burned alive. In his memory, a bronze statue was built in 1888.
Since 1869 the square has been home to a lively and colorful market. Its atmosphere is well conveyed by the beautiful Italian neorealist movie Campo de’ Fiori, with Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi.
Campo de' Fiori is also the only historical square in Rome that doesn't have a church.
An important church that is included in this Rome walk, however, is not far away - i.e. Basilica Sant’Andrea della Valle. It features an imposing late-Baroque facade and a single large nave, which is enriched at the sides by large chapels. The ceilings and walls are opulently frescoed, and it has the third-highest dome in Rome.
This Rome tour around the Campo de' Fiori concludes with a visit to the Palazzo Spada, which was built in the sixteenth century. Its facade is the richest sixteenth-century frontage in the city of Rome, thanks to the magnificence of its stucco décor, which can also be found in the courtyard.
The palace was enriched a century later by the architect Borromini, who created a masterpiece of trompe l'oeil in the entrance hall access to the courtyard, generating the optical illusion of a tunnel 37 meters long, whereas it measures only 8, with a sculpture that looks quite big when it is actually only 60 centimeters high. Palazzo Spada was purchased, with all the furnishings and the gallery, by the Italian state in 1927 and now houses the State Council.