The foodies guide to Rome’s best fresh produce
Mercato di Piazza Vittorio (a.k.a. Nuovo Mercato Esquilino)
Via Principe Amedeo, 184 (Metro A Vittorio)
Mon, Wed & Thurs, 5am – 3pm
Tues, Fri & Sat, 5am – 5pm
Not far from Termini, this covered market is one of Rome’s oldest. Offering flavours that reflect the multi-ethnic area, the mercato is the perfect place to look for anything other than run-of-the-mill Italian fare. You can find produce from all corners of the world, including an incredible array of loose grains, nuts and spices at bargain prices. Expect it to be loud, chaotic a little grimy; the kind of place where bartering is fine and where yelling seems to be the customary form of communication. The atmosphere is much like the food, a vivid, mismatched mesh, and gives the market a unique charm.
Via Francesco Passino (Metro B Garbatella)
Sat 8.30am – 6pm
Sun 8.30am – 2.30pm
A recent transplant from nearby Testaccio to the more low-key, residential Garbatella, this market adheres to a 0-km policy. The market ensures that the amount of travelling the food does before ending up on the stall tables is basically nada. In addition to being local, the products have to be seasonal. Located in a community centre, the market has a great laid-back feel, perfect for slow Sunday shoppers.
Piazza del Unità Market
Piazza Unità, 53 (Metro A Ottaviano)
Mon – Sat, 6.30am – 19.30pm
Each market has it’s own history in Rome, and this covered market in Prati is no exception. Built in the 20’s, the historical neo-classical building was not only a place for Romani to get their fruit and veg, but also housed a rooftop skating rink and large fountains between its stalls prior to renovation. Fun facts aside, its central location, late opening hours and underground parking, make this is a popular market for locals and tourists alike.
Mercato di Circo Massimo
Via di San Teodoro, 74 (Metro B Circo Massimo)
Sat 9am – 6pm, Sun 9am – 4pm
Housed in what used to be an ancient Jewish fish market, this is a great weekend mercato. Its prime location allows you to go grocery shopping amidst the fairly stunning surroundings of Circus Maximus and the Palatine Hill. This farmer’s market has a strong focus on local produce, so you can count on getting typical Roman products such as artichokes, chicory, pecorino and olives. You can also find vendors selling fresh meats, flowers, honeys, jams and truffles.
Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio
Entrances from Via Galvani, Via Franklin & Via Manuzio (Metro B Piramide)
Mon – Sat, 12am – 3pm
The Testaccio market is not just a practical spot to get your groceries, but also a staple hangout amongst locals. The covered stalls are well organised in a bright and spacious structure with a modern vibe. This is the kind of place you can come to grab an espresso, lunch or a fresh cannolo while browsing the selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. It also teeters over into the flea-market category as you can find vendors selling kitchenware, clothes and general knick-knacks.
Mercato di Campo de’ Fiori
Piazza Campo de’ Fiori
Campo de’ Fiori is one of Rome’s best-loved squares. By night, the piazza functions as a riotous watering hole, but during the day it is a traditional mercato in the heart of the capitol. Each morning the stalls get filled with fresh meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, and of course, flowers. The prices are a little above average, as to be expected in the historic centre. However, the intimacy of the piazza and the picturesque setting make the market a great spot for people watching or just weaving through the stalls, soaking up the hustle and bustle.
Città dell’Altra Economia
Largo Dino Frisullo (Metro B Piramide)
Every Sunday, 9am – sundown
In the restored spaces of an ex-slaughterhouse in Testaccio, you will find La Città dell’ Altra Economia, an events venue and community space dedicated to promoting “an alternative economy” in the form of agriculture, fair trade and sustainability. With independent vendors and quality organic fare, the weekly “Bio Market” is a mellow, environmentally conscious and friendly shopping experience.