[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Wandering about Rome’s rioni (central neighbourhoods), you will surely come across one of the many markets scattered around the city. If you are looking for the true Roman spirit, these are the right places to find it.
Markets in Rome: History of a Thousand Stories
Markets in Rome are not just about manufactured items, field vegetables and fresh flowers; they are also stories of men and women who spent a lifetime behind their stalls.
Wandering around Rome’s markets, you will soak up an atmosphere from the past. Traders are real historical characters, and shopping from them, or even just looking around for a moment, is like leafing through the pages of a book. As a matter of fact, the lady behind the counter might tell you the story of her life as you approach her stall! Walking around one of the markets in Rome is the best way to get to know the true Roman spirit.
Campo de’ Fiori Market
A local market (mercato rionale) is usually a huge indoor place, where you can find a bit of everything, including food, spices, fabrics, clothes and shoes. Among the most typical markets, is the market in Campo de’ Fiori, held under the frowning gaze of the statue of Giordano Bruno, that watches over the many stalls that fill the square every day. It is certainly one of the most “Roman” markets, and one of the few in which you can still find the so-called “misticanza”, a typical Roman mix of field herbs.
Just as traditional is the market in Piazza San Cosimato, in the heart of Trastevere. This market dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century, and today many of the vendors are the descendants of the market’s very first traders, carrying on the family business. Among the oddities of this market is a stall that sells food for the many dogs and cats that hang around the square, as there is a dog area just next to the children’s playground.
If you love ethnic food and manufactured items you should definitely visit the Nuovo Mercato Esquilino, near Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. In the Esquilino market, you can immerse yourself into the flavors and smells of oriental spices, but also lose yourself among bright colours and the most extravagant patterns of Indian clothesand African fabrics.
For bio and craft lovers, a visit to the Biomercato alla Città dell’Altra Economia in the Testaccio district is definitely recommended. This space, open only on Sundays, brings together certified organic manufacturers and artisans who make any kind of products. In addition to the market, there is also a supermarket, a bio-restaurant, a bookshop and a space for laboratories.
Without having to move too far, nearby you will find the Testaccio Market, that covers an area of about five square kilometers, and that, in addition to selling all kinds of goods, also has a section completely dedicated to food. Among the many chefs, is also the starred chef Cristina Bowerman, who opened a franchise of one of her famous restaurants right in the market area.
Some info: once a month, the market stays open from 8 am until midnight and you can go there for happy hours and dj mix shows.
Rome and Vintage
Thinking of markets in Rome, the famous Porta Portese market in Trastevere certainly comes to the mind. Opened in the post-war period as the new seat of the black market held in Campo de Fiori, Porta Portese, with more than a thousand vendors, is the most famous “Sunday market” in Italy. Here you can really find anything. They say that “in Porta Portese you will find anything, from a pill to a Jumbo Jet”. Indeed, items range from antiques to vintage clothes, accessories, vinyls and CDs, books, prints, you name it.
The eco-friendly market of the Community of Sant’Egidio also deserves a special mention: it takes place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in two hangars of Porto Fluviale. This particular market was founded by a large group of volunteers who collect, sort, arrange and then sell furniture, clothes, objects that people donate, and whose proceeds support the many activities of the Community. So if you shop here, you will also support the many activities carried out by this Community.
Another market that vintage and handmade lovers can not miss is the Monti Market. The idea of creating this space, not only dedicated to vintage but also to artists and craftsmen and their unique creations, originated from the local traders. This market was inspired by British urban markets, and can be found every weekend from September to June in the conference hall of the Hotel Palatino, in Via Leonina 46.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]