Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I've been living here for over a year and just heard about about this market a few weeks ago. Within one week several different people told me I had to check it out.
I thought they were talking about the market on Via Cola di Rienzo, which I've been to a couple of times. It's housed in the white building pictured.
Apparently there was another market in Prati, near the Vatican Museum. Today I walked over, cutting through St. Peter's square.
I almost lost my mind. It was love at first sight.
Is it me or have the prices in Campo dei Fiori skyrocketed since spring? This wouldn't have anything to do with the start of the tourist season? hmm
I did some comparison shopping a few weeks back. Cherries in Campo, avg. 8 euros a kilo. Testaccio market, avg. 4 euros a kilo.
Campo is fine if I have to run out and get something quickly. Shopping for a few days? No. Forget that. I'm not paying tourists prices.
The Trionfale market prices are lower than Campo, more in line with Testaccio, and Piazza Vittorio (a good market but too far for me. It's by Termini).
Like the latter it also has a few vendors (not as many as Pz. Vittorio) selling ethnic foods. I saw okra and plantains.
There was a vendor selling balsamic vinegar by the liter. The market has a wide variety of vendors selling: cheese, honey, meat, baked goods, fish, wines, fresh pasta, vegetables, fruits, etc. There are also a few dry goods vendors.
There's a flower mart nearby but it opens later in the day.
The market has underground parking as the lot is also used for the Vatican Museum.
Distance wise Trionfale is a little closer than Testaccio. I really liked the vibe of it. It's clean, bright and well laid out. Folks were super friendly, which I didn't expect. Everyone was all, "buona giornata, grazie lei!" Or maybe it's because I was there super early. Perhaps by the end of the day, the vendors are salty and just want to go home.
I need to go back with someone who shops there all the time. I feel like I just scratched the surface of it this morning. I walked out of there wishing I had a bigger kitchen. I was inspired to throw down.
If you're visiting Rome and staying in an apartment any where near this area, I highly recommend this market. I don't know how much English is spoken as I didn't see a single tourist in this huge space. However, given how close it is to the Vatican they must get a few.