A fresh, nourishing meal is a central tenant of the Italian lifestyle and Italians are fastidious about the ingredients they consume and use in their recipes. Around the country, many still eschew supermarkets and opt to shop for produce at farmers’ markets where they share close relationships with producers and find the best local ingredients to feed their families. If you want a taste of Rome‘s small-town lifestyle and delicious seasonal produce, don’t miss these great markets in the capital.
Since the Testaccio Market moved to its new location on one of the main thoroughfares in the neighborhood, it has become one of the most successful and beloved markets in the city. It is more than just a farmers’ market: the Testaccio Market is a local gathering space, unique shopping and eating experience and haven for foodies. The market is made up of 40 or so stalls selling all sorts of different foods as well as little eateries, boutiques, and cafés. It’s a lovely place to stop for lunch and taste some of Rome’s best local foods, such as Mordi e Vai sandwiches – an institution in the city.
Just around the corner from the Testaccio Market lies the old Testaccio slaughterhouse, originally one of the largest in Europe. Today the industrial space houses a branch of the MACRO contemporary art museum, organizes events such as concerts and installations, and hosts an organic market on Sundays. The philosophy of the ‘City of the Other Economy’ is present throughout and the space aims to promote sustainable consumerism and agriculture, so all the products are fairtrade and further the message of social solidarity.
Every neighborhood in Rome has its local farmers market and Trastevere‘s is known throughout the city. The Piazza San Cosimato market is a bustling, open-air market filled with locals – and some tourists – who are looking to stock up on seasonal ingredients, cheeses, meats and other goods. The market has been around since the early 1900s and continues to be a focal point of the neighborhood, not least because it surrounds a playground where children can play while their parents shop.
This famous covered market close to Termini Station is one of the best places to buy hard-to-find ingredients to use in international cooking, though the market is one of Rome’s largest so you’ll find some of everything within. As soon as you walk into the space you’ll be greeted by vendors selling spices of all shades and colors, a huge array of loose rice, seeds, and grains, uncommon vegetables and more. Piazza Vittorio itself is one of the most multi-ethnic districts in the city so its fitting that the market stocks foods for the local community and it makes for a truly international shopping experience.
The farmers’ market in Rome’s central Campo de’ Fiori square cannot be divorced from the piazza it finds itself in: the market is one of the main draws of Campo de’ Fiori and it dominates the space from morning to early afternoon, selling everything from cheeses, olive oils and meats to fruits and vegetables, souvenir trinkets and take-away foods. Although this market is quite touristy (and has a higher price point to boot) it is a lively experience and worth a stroll during a trip to Rome.