Shopping in Rome: a journey around the markets of Rome, hunting true deals
Colours, sounds, smells, fun, unmissable deals: here you are the features of the local markets in Rome, always attracting many tourists visiting the capital.
Let's discover the secrets of the neighbourhood markets.
An always existed story
Rome Caput Mundi could not be other than a mercantile city. Recognised as the centre of the world in the ancient times, Rome has always been a commercial pole.
At the beginning, Rome was characterized by a commerce based on the river Tiber, then consular streets were built to connect it to all the cities of the empire, but even after the fall of its power, the city has always been a benchmark for populations everywhere.
Craft shops, outdoor markets, inns where they used to make wine, bakeries when you can always buy fresh bread characterized this place.
Going a little bit over in time, forgetting the ancient Roman people, barbarians and popes, the modern market are the ones where the merchants used to propose their products to the people.
Unfortunately, the development of this market has suffered a stop after the birth of the great distribution, making the little merchants conditions harder.
In addition to this phenomenon, also the changes of society have contributed, by the changing of the daily habits people have.
In the past, the families were made of 5 or 6 people, among which the head of the family used to earn money to feed his wife, his children, and often his mother-in-law, while women used to be addicted to do shopping; the current family are made of a couple of people, both workers, doing shopping once a week.
The consequence has obviously been the crowded markets of the past have suffered a crisis, while the big supermarkets have developed their system, also thanks to a different purchasing power they have, making their products cheaper.
Folklore and surroundings
But we should say those who prefer the typical tradition of these type of markets, where to find anything you can't find in a “cold” supermarket, still do shopping there.
Rome's markets still offer their spontaneity, thanks to the peculiar products they sell, accompanied by interesting stories of the Roman tradition.
In addition to this cultural feature, the markets also offer special deals, if you know them very well. We can talk about all the markets in Rome, so we will discover just the most typical ones.
Porta Portese: the best market to depart from is this one, even if it is open early on Sundays.
Porta Portese is known as "flea market", because of the several merchants selling only second-hand goods. Protagonist of the famous song " Questo piccolo grande amore" by Baglioni, Porta Portese offers you any kind of original and fake products - as Roman people called the fake product "patacche" -, such as pictures, any kind of accessories, books, antiques, and so on. If you want to explore this market of Rome to find great deals, you have to go there in the early morning on Sundays, as the merchants are still preparing their stands, before the crowd comes.
Piazza Vittorio: the Market in Piazza Vittorio has always been a melting pot where different cultures sell their typical products. The neighbourhoods situated near Termini station has become a sort of Chinatown, where you can easily find exotic products and any good for very cheap prices.
approach is the typical feature of the merchants and the customers.
Campo de’ Fiori: it is the most typical market of Rome in the central square where Giordano Bruno was burnt accused of heresy.
In the past, it was a meeting point for the Roman matrons: they used to go there and spend their time chatting among themselves, during and after the shopping, gossiping and even arguing sometimes. Unfortunately, that type of people has almost disappeared, and nowadays Campo de' Fiori receives just foreign customers attracted by the colour food market, and famous people living nearby. It is very difficult to find a deal there, but you can really find any kind of food even not seasonal.
Val Melaina: in the northern part of Rome, this market is famous for cheap prices attracting people living in the popular houses nearby - setting of the furnace film "Ladri di biciclette", by De Sica. If you want to really find deals, you should go there after 12, because at that time merchants cat prices, in order to sell everything they have on their stands.
Another market worth of a visit is Via Sannio, behind the Basilica di San Giovanni, selling new and second-hand clothes. If you are able to negotiate with the merchants, you can get the product for an even cheaper price than the one they already have.
Also the markets in Via Andrea Doria - Trionfale - and in Via Riano - Ponte Milvio - were very important till they were situated outdoors. They have recently been inserted in some closed structures, losing their original essence, and so consequently there prestige and customers. For this reason you can easily find great deals there.
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