Find the best Italian cuisine and much more, all under the same roof at Roma Termini Station
Smells of fresh meats, cheeses, and pastries waft through the air of a crowded, bustling room, bouncing off of the two story high ceilings. You can hear not just Italian, but languages from all over the world. You’re in one of the main travel hubs of Italy’s capital city. Maybe you’re just waiting for a train or maybe you came here on purpose. Either way, the Mercato Centrale in Termini Station is the right place to be to find fresh, artisanal foods in Rome.
Back in 2014, the Cardini–Vannucchi family made a big splash when they started up the Mercato Centrale in Florence. Ever since then, we have been waiting eagerly for our own Mercato Centrale to open its doors here in Rome. And in 2016 it finally did! It’s a paradise for anyone who loves food, wine, and strolling under the arched brick ceilings as you watch the craftsmen of the market go at it: shaping fresh pasta at one stand, pouring wine samples at another. It’s a rush, to stand in the middle of this market, listening to the din of it all, knowing that you are about to experience Rome the way it is meant to be experienced: with great food, great drinks, and great fun. And all at reasonable prices, too!
The philosophy of Mercato Centrale has been distilled to perfection: everything served here is farm to kitchen, local and fresh, and you can enjoy it there or at home, depending on your preference. Variety is key, with stands serving anything Italian, from produce to seafood to gelato to pasta to pizza. You can watch meals being made in front of you, or hop from stand to stand trying different delicacies and seasonal specialties, or buy what you need and prepare the perfect meal at home, knowing full well that whatever you make will transport you back to the mercato, as if you were one of the specialists themselves. And there are lots of specialists: Gabriele Bonci is in charge of baking bread, sweets, and pizza; Fausto Savigni serves cured meats; Fabrizio Giannini and Stefano di Somma select the finest fresh fish; Luca Boccoli, renowned sommelier, mans the wine selection…The list goes on and on, which means that everything you buy will be of the best quality.
Much like Rome itself, the Mercato Centrale is at once ancient and modern, building off of the traditional Italian marketplace and bringing it into the modern world. You can buy all of your favorite foods, but still try new things. Take a bite out of one of Enrico Lagorio’s Chianina hamburgers. Lagorio uses the same meat as the famous bistecca alla fiorentina to craft delicious, organic hamburgers you won’t soon forget. You can even find sushi at Donato Scardi’s shop. Made with Italian sourced ingredients, Donato Sardi’s sushi is both traditional and innovative, creating a global cuisine right in front of you. Or better yet, taste “i Magnifici”: seasonal specialties that Mercato Centrale’s artisans prepare with different ingredients from different food shops in the market, and only available here.
The Mercato Centrale format also fulfils another important mission: reviving historic areas of a city left deserted for many years and bringing people back to highly important and vibrant places that were left abandoned. After they revived an old Florentine market, the company set their sites on Rome in an effort to restore an old train station dining hall. Since then, the market has been breathing new life into Termini station and helping make the station itself a destination. Not to mention, it’s the perfect place to stop by for lunch before visiting the nearby Basilica Papale of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Terme di Diocleziano, the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, the Palazzo del Quirinale, the Traiano markets, the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum and Altare della Patria, and much more. And stay tuned, because apart from being the perfect place for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks,
My advice? Enjoy the space itself. Plan some time with friends to go together, sampling food from different stands, trying different varieties of beer and wine, and finally choosing what you want and enjoying it there, people-watching while you sit at one of the many communal tables available throughout the market or choosing to be seated at the restaurant. You can even head upstairs and watch from above, as if you were up in the rafters looking down at a busy market in Ancient Rome. And some days, this second floor is even used for hosting many free and public events and cultural presentations dedicated to culture, music, art and science, so stay up to date with their calendar. You don’t want to miss a thing!
With 1900 square meters and 500 places to sit, Mercato Centrale is the perfect place to find what you want to enjoy and to enjoy it your heart’s desire. From Stefano Callegari’s trapizzino to Luciano Savini’s truffles; from Marcella Bianchi’s vegetarian & vegan, to Sicilian specialties by Carmelo Pannocchietti; from Martino Bellicampi’s fried foods, to Luca Veralli’s ice-cream; from Beppe Giovale’s cheese, to Egidio Michelis’s fresh pasta; from Akira Yoshida’s ramen, to Pier Daniele Seu’s pizza; from Massimo Guzzone e Feto Alisani’s artichokes and mushrooms, to De Bellis brothers’ desserts – the choice is vast, with 18 different food shops.
With hours from 8am to midnight, you can always count on Mercato Centrale to deliver on whatever delicious food you’re craving. It is super easy to get to – it’s directly connected to Fiumicino airport through the Leonardo Express train and the airport bus stop, it is the only stop that connects the A and B metro lines, and there are plenty of buses that reach it. So what are you waiting for? Head on over as soon as you can to Termini Station, either by bus or by metro, and explore the market now!