I will never stop saying that the best way to discover a place, a village or a city is to visit religious facilities and a market. Markets are the centre of life, the place where people meet, bargain, buy food. In Italy food is at the centre of every tradition. Therefore, markets are definitely a place you cannot miss when visiting us.
In the centre of Rome, very close to Vatican City, the smallest state in the world by extension, you can find a covered market called Mercato Trionfale, triumphal market in English.
A bit of history
This market is considered the first Roman local market. It is certainly the largest with its 273 stalls and probably among the largest in Italy and even in Europe.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the market was in Viale Giulio Cesare. For years this was a transit place for those who went hunting or coming from other towns. People used to stop here with their horses, carriages or cars to rest their animals or refuel and, why not, have something to eat and drink. At that time, this area was almost countryside, with fields and farms. It was then included in the urban net of Rome and became a popular neighborhood.
The market today
With the years, this district has turned into an elegant neighborhood at the centre of Rome. In fact, buying a house here can be really expensive.
What we see today was inaugurated in March 2009. The facility is made of a glass and concrete structure. It includes a car park with 320 parking spaces, as well as a post office.
The main entrance is in Via Andrea Doria. It is located under two large stairways where you can admire two portraits of a woman. The beautiful lady is Anna Magnani, a beloved Roman actress of the 1900s. On the one hand, Nannarella, this is how people called her, holds a cat and, on the other, a dog, in two smiling and dreamy images. Diavù, a street artist, made this tribute to a great diva and a wonderful woman.
Opening hours and how to reach it
The market opens every day from Monday to Saturday, from 8.30 to 13.30, but is closed on Sundays.
From the Vatican, you can reach the Trionfale market with a 5-minute walk. Or you can take the metro A and get off at the Cipro stop.
Among the bus lines that stop in this district are numbers 31, 490, 70, 913 and 990.
If you decide to arrive by car, you can park in the private garages nearby or in the neighboring streets. But let me worn you, parking here can be quite expensive and during the day it is not even easy to find a free spot. The best thing is to get here by public transport.
What can you find
In this market you can find products with good value for money, but also refined delicacies. As I said, the entire district has been transformed from popular into an elegant neighborhood. Here house can be really expensive. After all, we are in the very heart of the eternal city. So expect to find precious wines or fresh oysters!
At the Trionfale market you can really find everything: from bread to fresh and dried fruit, rice and all kinds of cereals. But also: fresh fish, cold cuts, cheese, fresh pasta, clothes, bags, shoes and toys for children, Christmas decorations, honey, jam, exotic products such as fruit and vegetables at the base of ethnic cuisines and a great variety of spices.
How it is organized
The market is divided into corridors marked by different colors, depending on the product category. Green is for fruit and vegetables, light green for direct producers, blue for fish and red for meat. There is also a butcher specializing in American products.
How to best enjoy it
You can visit the market in the morning and have breakfast here. In fact, there is a cafeteria where you can have something at the counter or even take one of the few seats. Several corners serve fresh food, so you can also plan your lunch here, or here if you want to move from this facility.
You can also decide to take something away. Some preparations only need a few minutes in the microwave so, if you are staying at a B&B with kitchen, here you can find cheap and yummy meals. So, where are you going to taste a dish of lasagne or a handmade pasta with carbonara sauce?