April 26, 2011

Campo de' Fiori, Rome. November, 1984

Another market. I can’t help it. Especially when there are artichokes still on their long stems as found here. A “field of flowers” (it was actually a meadow during the Middle Ages) occupying a historic square in the heart of the centro historico, the Campo de' Fiori offers not only fresh produce, fish and cheeses each morning, but also a certain amount of unmatched street theater. It used to be the site of public executions. Now on one end, you'll find the restaurant La Carbonara, whose outdoor lunchtime tables slowly invade the market around 1pm. (Pasta alla carbonara, natch, followed by frito vegetale, an assortment of batter-fried vegetables, including mozzarella-stuffed zucchini blossoms.) There’s also a laundry where the proprietress gets a bit spikey if you show up at the appointed time and your wash isn’t done yet; she calms down and becomes charm itself when you return the next day and it’s ready. Also a crumbling cinema and the first place I’d ever tasted potato pizza back in 1980 when it was still unheard of in the Stati Uniti. My friend Patti snapped this photo of me wearing the suede jacket I’d bought earlier at the San Lorenzo street market in Florence. (Almost 30 years later, I still have it, a bit worse for wear, but then so am I.)


  1. great picture with lots of memories behind it. thanks for sharing.

  2. Ah! So this is where you discovered potato pizza! In the early '80s, as Reaganomics ravaged public broadcasting and layoffs loomed, you would say, "Oh well, whatever happens ... there'll always be potato pizza." Now I know where it came from. Grazie mille!