Looking for excellence at the local market in Testaccio!
Testaccio is one of the most famous local markets in Rome, but it can't be considered just a group of stands. People looking for typical, fresh and genuine products can't find a better place for their shopping. You can find merchants, but also street food ready to offer tasty dishes you can appreciate doing your shopping, walking around the stands, attracted by the colours and the perfumes of the earth products, together with the rich author of clothes, shoes, accessories and house items. Exhibitors are kind and smiling, funny and always ready to welcome customers in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. The items in sale are various and for everybody. The market of Testaccio, however, hides a piece of the Eternal City history. They discovered an ancient "horreum", a Roman store for goods. Today here are many remains.
Walking around the stands
Walking around the stands is a pleasure, because of the goods they offer, a mix of old and innovative products. The common feature of the stands is the authentic Roman spirit, able to enchant and experiment news. In addition to products, those who enter the covered structure can't miss to admire the architecture of the place. It is a modern but minimal and contemporary building, decorated by white lines set on a symmetrical system, in contrast to the colours of the stands products. The visitors find the architectonic rigor on one side, and the vitality of the stands, surrounded by people. The modern project was inspired to the other markets of the Italian capital. There are entrances and exits all around the building, to let the people easily go in and out, and the covering protects by the sun and the rain. The light gets filtered by transparent panels, and air goes through the leaky walls. The author of the Testaccio’ Market is the architect Marco Rietti.
Roman people used to send amphorae full of any kind of goods, to provide people with them and develop trades. The amphora, actually, is the symbol of the Roman district. Today, you can see those objects under the market of Testaccio, in the ancient store discovered by archaeologists. You can visit the sight, but only during the open days planned by the market operators, in cooperation with the organizations "Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo" and the "Area archeologica" of Rome. You can't get there alone, but with guided tours with the experts that ruled the excavations. Obviously, it gives more value to the tour, because you can go deeply into the history of the works of the ancient marke, and the remains it contained. Groups of a maximum of 25 persons can be made, for a 45 minutes tour. The tours must be booked in advance. The origin of the area of the horreum dates back to the 1st century AD, but the real development took place between the end of the first and the half of the second century AD, until the total dismantlement, in the fourth century AD.
The "Rione Testaccio"
It is situated on the left bank of the Tiber, about six hundred hectares large. There are many important monumental remains by various times in the area, but a very fun fact is the district was able to create a sort of connection with the past. From the antiquity to the modern age, the inhabitants have been able to save the signs of history, taking advantage of the structure for the development of the district as you can see it nowadays. There have been also landscape changes by the centuries, but they didn't cause the loss of any important monuments. The commercial vocation has always been a typical feature of Testaccio, even if in the Middle Ages it had become a suburban countryside, by the diffusion of vegetable gardens and vineyards. By the Unity of Italy, factories rose up there. Today, in addition to the local people, there are many tourists visiting the market and the neighbourhoods, even if the typical Roman atmosphere doesn't get influenced.
Testaccio offers only excellent products to the customers of the market, starting from food. There are stands of salami and cheese, meat, fruit and vegetables able to attract eyes and noses. People who want to do shopping or taste genuine local products know the market very well, even if there are also very interesting clothes, items for the house and various products proposed by the sellers. People visiting Rome for a long or short period, always include Testaccio in the list of destinations, not only because of the architecture and the archaeology, but also for street food. Although street food is something very trendy nowadays, it is a phenomenon dating back the Roman tradition, and you can find anything you want at the market, from sandwiches to salads, juices and fruit salads, pasta, piadina, and overall the Roman "pizza bianca", served with the most varied condiments. If you want to taste the real Roman food, eating while you are walking around the colourful stands, Testaccio really is the right destination.
According to the period in which you visit Rome, you can take part to special events. There are shows organised by the settlers or over the year, to celebrate any occasion. Christmas markets, Halloween open days, every month many events attract visitors. They allow you to discover the tradition and to listen to good music, taste food made by feminist groups, or find peculiar goods you can buy, according to the event you are taking part to. The market of Testaccio offers excellent to usual customers and tourists. One of the most typical moments is the “Ottobrata” - from the name of the fall month - celebrated in autumn, as it used to happen in the past. Music, archaeological tours and food get together with creative workshops for children with entertainers and experts.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Ariston, the ideal starting point to discover Rome!