We found interesting contrasts in Campo de' Fiori. The statue is of Giordano Bruno, an intellectual heretic who was burned to death on this spot in 1600. His pedestal reads: "And the flames rose up." The billboard, however, seems a bit more recent.

In a perfect example of old Rome co-existing with new Rome, the buildings behind the statue are built into the old outer wall of the ancient Theater of Pompey, which used to cover several city blocks. This theater was the first permanent theater in Rome, and it was decried by traditionalists who thought that theaters would lead to all sort of horrible corruptions because they were too Greek. True Romans were supposed to watch gladiators, not mimes, poets, and plays.

The Theater of Pompey became infamous for more than just decadent actors -- it was where Caesar was assassinated because that's where the Senate was renting space while the Curia was being renovated.