Rome's food markets are behind the scenes to some of the best food in the world. Personally, I believe that a big part of what makes Italian cuisine so amazing, are the excellent local fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and cured meats that are put into it. Ask my mother, I go on and on about Italian---broccoli! Truly it has to be the best in the world.
Italians follow the seasons; their dishes reflect the time of year it is and what crops are plentiful. When you visit the food markets of Rome, you can usually find a little of everything, but notice the quantities and the prices, and you can realize on your own what is best to buy, and what is best to order at dinner!
But the markets in Rome aren't only about food. Other markets I highly recommend are the Mercato dei Fiori, the amazing flower market, and Porta Portese market, Rome's huge flea market. Every Sunday of the month hosts a different market in Rome, and these markets have some real treasures that have loyal Roman customers proving their worth!
The market of Campo de' Fiori is very well known and centrally located in Rome.
From Monday- Saturday, 7am to 1pm, there are local vendors who have set up their stand selling fresh produce, flowers, and other locally made goods that make great gifts. When I'm in the area I always make my route through Campo de' Fiori; I love markets, and this one is charming.
Campo de' Fiori is surrounded by outdoor cafes and small shops such as the Forno, a wonderful bakery in one corner of the square. I suggest getting there early, to enjoy a cappuccino and cornetto as you watch them set up and prepare for the day! Keep on the lookout for local vendors who are preparing some vegetables to save you prep time before cooking.
You may find artichoke hearts ready to go, prepared right before your eyes, or a great mix of freshly chopped veggies to prepare your own minestrone with some seasoning mix you bought at a nearby stall. In the center of Campo, "field" in Italian, is the statue of the philosopher Giordano Bruno, solemnly looking down. He was one of those burned alive in a public execution that used to be held in the square. Hestands in defiance facing the Vatican, and helps me get my bearings to know which way is North.
Campo de' Fiori is a highlight when visiting Rome!
Located @ Piazza Campo De' Fiori. Open: Mon-Sat, 7am-1pm
Rome's wonderful Market of Flowers, Mercato dei Fiori, is just a 10 minute walk North from the Vatican Museum, and worth every step!
The market is located in a huge open space building. The first floor is filled with beautiful lush potted plants, and the second floor is filled with beautiful, fresh-cut flowers, a florist's heaven.
This market is not a major tourist destination, but is one of my favorite markets! On my first visit, I walked around from vendor to vendor in awe. Surprisingly, I only walked away with one flowered plant!
Located @ Via Trionfale 45
The Piazza Vittorio Market is among the oldest of Roman markets. It has relocated and changed over time, but still remains a wonderful place to explore! Right next to Termini train station, this covered market has a wonderful fish market in the center section, fresh meat vendors on one end, and fruits and veggies scattered throughout.
You will even find some exotic fruits, spices and vegetables that wouldn't normally show up in a local market! When I visited, I went out a side door and witnessed a truck full of pigs being delivered... Not a sight you see everyday!
Located @ Via Principe Amedeo 184 Open: Monday-Sat. 7am-2pm
Porta Portese is a huge open air flea market. It lines Via Portuense and Via Ippolito Nievo just south of central Trastevere.
In the market of Porta Portese you can find just about everything: football jerseys, household items, purses, hats, scarves, jewelry, antiques, plants, clothing, etc., and most are pretty cheap items. It takes time to make it through the entire market, so there are food stands strategically set up throughout allowing you to rejuvenate for the rest of your walk, or continue lugging your treasures around!
The market is every Sunday and gets quite busy, so show up early for easy shopping, and keep an eye on your bag as this is a place to "Stai attenta!" (be careful/pay attention).
Located @ Porta Portese / Via Portuense Open: Sundays, 6:30am-2 pm
The market of Piazza Verdi its surrounding environment. The square in the upscale neighborhood of Parioli hosts the market on the fourth Sunday of every month.
There you will find many beautiful hand crafted items, including precious children's clothing, fun summer hats, paintings, antiques, ceramics, vintage luxury purses, quality linens, and more.
Looking up around the square you will see you are surrounded by very nice buildings in this high end neighborhood, where even if you're not buying, you will surely admire and appreciate the artisanship.
Located @ Piazza Giuseppe Verdi Open: 4th Sunday of every month