Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
Located directly in the center of historic Rome, Campo dei Fiori is a popular destination for local shoppers as well as tourists. While technically open to cars, the plaza is primarily a pedestrian zone—the market’s numerous stalls share the space with musicians, peddlers, and daily throngs of visitors. The market runs all day, and when the sun sets, the many ristoranti surrounding the square begin extending their outdoor seating options to accommodate the nighttime crowd— the Italian dinner “hour” often reaches late into the night. The plaza is safe, well-kept, and cleaned each day after the disassembly of the market. Campo dei Fiori is a thriving social center with a long-standing cultural history, and it is a must-see for anyone taking in the sites and scenes of Rome.
Like the city of Rome itself, Campo dei Fiori has a long history. Once a wild meadow, the area now known as Campo dei Fiori (meaning “Field of Flowers”) has been a site of vibrant cultural and economic activity since as far back as the 15th century. The square was paved during the Renaissance and surrounded by streets named after their specific trade activity, such as Via dei Baullari (coffee makers) Via dei Giubbonari (tailors) and Via dei Cappellari (hat makers). It soon became host to a twice-a-week horse market, and as the region became wealthier, more and more houses, shops, and inns began to populate the surrounding area.
Along with its unique commercial history, the square has also been the site for various political and cultural events—from Papal visits and protests to public executions. Notably, the execution of astronomer Giordano Bruno in 1600 is memorialized with a bronze statue that overlooks the market square. A major daily fish and vegetable market set up shop on the square in 1869, which has been in operation ever since. Today, Campo dei Fiori is a bustling daily market that sells fresh food and culinary treasures in addition to textiles, flowers, local art, and crafts of all kinds.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
Many great public spaces have grown out of communities resisting development. It is the evolution from opposition to proactive visioning - helping to create, finance, and manage public spaces - that often makes the opposition successful. Congress Square, and the community around it, are forging this story of transformation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio caused quite a stir around New York City yesterday as he floated the idea of tearing up the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. This statement was the culmination of several days of debate centered around predatory panhandling and the square’s growing number of “street performers.”