The Statue of Giordano Bruno in Campo de’ Fiori

The bronze Statue of Giordano Bruno stands in Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, surrounded by bars, restaurants and stalls of the Market of Campo de’ Fiori. As people born and raised in Rome we are pretty used to its presence. However, the existence of the statue, a work by Ettore Ferrari, was as much troubled as the philosopher’s life.

Credits: image by user:Sputnikcccp~commonswikiOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Location: Piazza di Campo de Fiori, in the Pantheon and Navona Square Area
Tickets: Not Needed
Accessibility: Accessible
Kid-friendly Attraction

It was exactly on the spot where today you see the statue that the Italian philosopher was burned at stake on February 17th 1600, accused of heresy by the Church for theorizing the infinity of the universe and suggesting that the sun was not just a stuck point in the sky. No doubt that Giordano Bruno has been a troublesome figure for the power of the Church. What’s really interesting here is the fact his death set the pace for an unbridgeable gap between the secular world and the Italy of the Popes.

The idea to raise a statue in honor of Giordano Bruno started from a group of University students, supported by Antonio Labriola, professor of philosophy at the University.

Thanks to him, the monument of Giordano Bruno became the symbol of a battle in defence of the freedom of thought that spread all over Europe.

Of course the idea was strongly opposed by the Church. The clerical community couldn’t just stand the idea of a monument celebrating an “heretic” so close to the Vatican City. The days preceding the inauguration of the statue were pretty hard ones and full of tension. Exponent of the catholic church knocked at every door to list the families supporting the initiative.

The day of the inauguration was a very big event! On June 9th 1889 the square was crowded. People gathered in the piazza, holding umbrellas to find protection from the burning sun, while others were looking out of the windows of the buildings surrounding the square. They were all there to witness the same event: the inauguration of the statue and to celebrate the beginning of a new age for Italy !