Food markets offer the chance to see the most vital and genuine part of a city. Among the food stalls, you can find quality local products that are difficult or impossible to find in large supermarket chains. The food markets in Rome are certainly among the most vibrant in Europe. The sympathy of the Roman traders is indeed very famous and makes this experience even more pleasant. Shopping in these markets is the best way to eat like a local in Rome and a real experience that all food lovers should enjoy at least once in their lives.
If you are visiting Rome, here is the ultimate list of the best 7 food markets you should visit:
1. Campo de Fiori Market
The Piazza Campo de ‘Fiori market is one of the oldest food markets in Rome. It also appears in the famous Italian movie “Campo de’ fiori” of the 40s with Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi. Today the market is not as vital as it used to be, it is smaller and a bit more touristy but it is still a must-go for all food lovers visiting Rome. The fruit stalls are very special, and a great opportunity to try fresh fruit salads and refreshing centrifuges to have on the spot.
2. Testaccio Market
The market in the Testaccio district has recently been renovated. It is now in an indoor facility close to the Faculty of Architecture of the University and the Macro (Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome). For this reason, today a young clientele visit the market, meeting up for lunch at the gastronomic counters that use fresh products from the market. Here you will find the best Italian food, we recommend the sandwiches with the boiled meats of “Mordi & Vai” and the desserts of “Dess’art”.
3. Esquilino Market
Esquilino market, near Piazza Vittorio, is located in an indoor facility. This is the most multi-ethnic area of Rome, so the atmosphere is very colorful. There is a great selection of spices, legumes, fruit and vegetables, but not the meat supply. Generally, here the products, even those of higher quality, cost less than other markets in the city.
4. Triumphal Market
In the heart of the Prati district stands the Trionfale market, one of the largest markets in Italy and in Europe. You will find more than three hundred counters offering products of all kinds. From vegetables, meat, fish, legumes to toys and shoes are arranged according to the category of goods for sale. Here you can go for a really complete shopping! You can then take advantage of the proximity of the market in San Pietro and the Vatican to organize a nice day in Rome.
5. Unity market
Very close to the Trionfale market, still in the Prati district, you will find the Unity market. A beautiful indoor market built in 1928 in the neoclassical style with a monumental portal at the entrance. Everything here is a function of the quality of food, in addition to the many food counters, the market also houses a small bookstore, “Racconti di gusto”, which only sells cookbooks.
6. Parioli Market
The market of the Parioli district, one of the richest areas of Rome, is among the smallest in the city. In addition to the more traditional activities that sell fruit, vegetables, and meat, some parts of the market are open until late at night and are populated by young people. You can then make an aperitif with beers and cocktails, take smoothies and centrifuges with the
vegetables of the market, or eat a meal of chicken farm “San Bartolomeo”.
7. San Giovanni di Dio Market
The market of Piazza San Giovanni di Dio is the main market in the Monteverde district. It is especially recommended because it is not very touristy and it is almost exclusively frequented by locals. There is a space reserved for growers who sell only seasonal fruit and vegetables and the gastronomic area is also excellent thanks to the kiosk “Tutto Ghiotto” (owned by a former university professor fed up with academic life) offering a selection of really good cheeses and salami.
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Photo credit: Darren Flinders on Flickr.