Food plays an important part in Italian culture. This comes in the form of a variety of cheeses, wines and pasta dishes, all different in taste due to its location. Street markets are an amazing way for farmers to showcase their fresh locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Not only will you find the most amazing selection of produce, but you will also be able to purchase hand-made items too.
Want to see one for yourself but don’t know where to go?
Well, we’ve narrowed down a list of the top 10 street markets in Rome and surroundings for you to visit on your next trip, here is your live and learn Italian experience at the street market in Nettuno to get you ready to interact in Italian. Enjoy!
Nettuno Street Market
Located in my birth town one hour away from Rome, this street market takes place every Thursday from 8:00 till 13:00 in viale Ugo la Malfa. It stretches for 2 kilometres and here farmers showcase their amazing products. From fruit and veg to adult and kid clothing you name it; there is always something you need of fancy buying at this colourful market.
However, what you will enjoy most is an authentic Italian experience when visiting this market. For now, I have recorded a short video for you to have a little taste.
After watching it, you can also practise your Italian by taking the short test below.
Live & learn Italian at the market
Mercato di Testaccio
This is a roofed market placed in an ancient Roman market. If you’re looking for reasonably priced, fresh, authentic and exciting food then this market is the place to go. This market has everything; from the on the spot prepared meals, to clothing, accessories and even household items. The market itself is stunning.
Placed in a 21st century style building with old fashioned mosaic style brick work, the architecture of the market really reflects how welcoming this market is to people of all age groups. There are over 100 counters in Mercato di Testaccio, meaning there is probably one just right for you. Whether you enjoy fresh hot meals, walking passed fragrant fruits and vegetables, a variety of meat or fish, or you like shopping for clothes and home décor, there are loads of options.
Each stall has its own quirk. Each day, the neatly packed haberdashery will show off accessories to passing shoppers, or the bakery will renew traditional recipes and use seasonal ingredients to make the most delicious treats.
The market itself is placed just outside the hustle and bustle if the city and is a short bus ride away from Termini station in Rome.
The market of Campo de’ Fiori
Located in the heart of Rome, Campo de’ Fiori was named one of the most picturesque markets in the city. The square itself was built in the mid 15th century by Pope Callixtus III who arranged for the area to be paved and old buildings to be refurbished. This market is also one of the oldest in Rome, with an abundance of stalls popping up every morning since 1869.
The market has a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat and fish with the majority of the produce being locally sourced by farmers around the area. You will also find food shops and bakeries, all with professional chefs and delicious food. Closer to the fountain also lies one of the most decadent floristries in Rome, which can provide you with the most beautiful range of flowers for every season and every occasion.
Campo de’ Fiori is a market with immense history. Originally known as a place for punishments and execution. The statue of the friar and philosopher Giordano Bruno who had theories about the universe in the 1600s can be seen at the centre of the square facing towards Vatican City.
Unlike, Campo de’ Fiori, Porta Portese is only open on a Sunday and can be said as one of the best flea markets in Rome. This place sells everything from clothes, shoes and handbags to even bicycles and spare car parts. The market is only open from 9 am to 2 pm every Sunday so it for sure gets incredibly crowded during its peak hours.
If you’re one for looking through piles of antiques to find a hidden gem, or love walking among crowds and doing a bit of window shopping then this market is perfect for you. Keep a lookout for the book stalls which will most likely have rare first edition books in pristine condition or timely vintage clothing stalls.
Be prepared to haggle with the vendors, you’d be impressed by the price you’d get your item down to. Even if you don’t find a hidden gem, you will certainly take home with you the experience of an Italian flea market.
Castelli Romani Christmas market
If you’re visiting Italy during the latter part of the year, make sure you stop by Castelli Romani for a truly authentic Italian Christmas experience. This cosy nook has everything you need from handmade Christmas decorations to small gifts you can take home with you. The Christmas market boasts handmade quality items.
From jewellery to pop up Christmas cards and delicately made paper fans. The market is terrifically tranquil, surrounded by twinkle lights on the walls and friendly locals who you can have a friendly chat with. Not only that, this market also has handmade children’s clothes made to perfection and even sells hats for all occasions.
Mercato Trionfale is one of the largest and busiest markets in Rome. With over 300 stalls selling fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, there is something for everyone. This is not a typical tourist hot spot. In fact, you will probably walk in and find local Romans shopping at a market and hear the odd haggling of prices.
You can find locally sourced fruits and nuts, as well as on the go freshly made sandwiches for a reasonable price. From flowers, to cheese you will find everything you need.
Mercato Trionfale specialises in selling bulk wine which can be an excellent souvenir to take home with you from your trip. The market is open every day except Sunday. The opening times vary each day so make sure to take a look at their website before you go.
Ciociaria is famous for its Sunday morning monthly markets. In particular, the Frosinone antiques and crafts fair is home to hundreds of stalls all with meticulously handmade items, antiques and wrought iron products. Furthermore, if you’re in the area around winter, you can visit the town of Alatri and attend their annual winter fair where you will be exposed to huge umbrellas, horse riding and antiques.
The area of Ciociaria is famous for its wine, spirits and liquors which are often sold in the markets or by the monks of the Trisulti Carthusian Monastery. Ciociaria is part of the Lazio region, where seafood dishes and oils and wines give tourists an authentic experience.
Why not try a tasting course whilst you’re there, where you can be guided around different markets and try the regions finest products from the Monte San Biagio sausage to the Amaretti di Guarcino cookies? Whether, you enjoy sweet or savoury, these markets can satisfy your tastebuds.
Flea market in Sabina
The street and flea market in Sabina takes place on every first Sunday of the month. Consisting of antiques, crafts and collectables, vendors also sell handmade ceramics and textiles. Moreover, if you visit the Erboristeria di Monastica Officina, you will be welcomed into a world of local Italian foods, herbal teas, ointments, jams and honey made from locally sourced ingredients.
The markets in Sabina also have an ancient medieval energy, where you can use your skills from one red paperclip to trade your items with the vendors. You’d never know what you would end up with!
The open-air market in Viterbo is open 6 days a week. Its stalls open early and will probably be able to hear the vibrant energy of the market at 7 in the morning. The market offers a variety of meats, fish, locally produced foods and nuts. This market is great for practicing your Italian as the vendors speak little to no English at all, meaning you will have to put your skills to the ultimate test whilst you haggle and pick out your items with the sellers.
A lot of the locals at Viterbo go to the market to socialise with their community. You can join in the conversation with these friendly locals and who knows, you may just as well be invited to game night!
Mercatino dell’usato EcoLogico is based in Latina
This unique market promotes ecology and emphasises up-cycled items or products which can be reused and recycles. The market is both educational as you can improve your Italian by having in-depth conversations with the vendors and also learn more about the concept of up-cycling old unused objects.