This lively square down Piazza della Cancelleria (off Corso Vittorio Emanuele II), is much less grand or well known than Piazza Navona, just to the north, but it's one of the best places places in town to experience Rome. Cafes with terrace tables and WiFi internet access, bars and restaurants surround the central market area filled with flowers and fresh produce stalls that set up here each morning (except Sundays). Shop only at stands with clearly posted prices - or risk paying a lot more.
The square is dominated by the statue of Giordano Bruno, a Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer who was burned alive on this spot on February 17,1600 during the Roman Inquisition. HIs ideas, considered heretical, were deemed dangerous by the Vatican and civil authorities of his time, and his statue, erected in 1889, now seems to gaze defiantly in the direction of St Peter's from this place of his execution.
The fine bakery, Forno Campo De' Fiori, just behind the flower stands at the corner of Via dei Cappellari, has many kinds of local breads, plus quiches and sweet treats. At the other end of the square, Rucceri stocks everything you'll need to go with the fresh produce - sauces, meats, cheese, fresh pasta, wines and other grocery items. Find it at the corner at Via dei Giubbonari, lined with clothing and shoe stores, to the east of the square. The nearby Cinema Farnese screens mostly Italian-language art films.
Via dei Cappellari and Via dei Pellegrino, on the west corners of the square, are home to a number of small art, jewelry and glass studios, short-term rental apartment, and cafe/nightclubs. The cobblestone square is packed on weekend evenings with a young crowd of many nationalities, overflowing from the clubs and restaurants, who hang out late into the night, beneath the towering statue. For local short-term apartment listings see the websites of RomeLoft and RomeApartments.