They say that central Rome’s favourite green market Campo de Fiori was so named because the site was once a Roman meadow. Fiori is Italian for flowers, and the name roughly translates to Field of Flowers, but although there were flowers for sale at the market, I got the feeling it’s prime purpose was to provide fresh fruit and vegetables.
I love to visit markets when at home and those that are new to me are doubly fascinating. Once upon a time Marty avoided them like the plague, but I have a sneaking suspicion he has come to like them too. When we were in Zagreb later in the trip we had a whole Airbnb apartment to ourselves and shopped every couple of days at the local market, but in Rome we did not have use of the kitchen, so it was photographs only at Campo de’ Fiori.
Our host Raffaella, insisted this was the last authentic market in the centre of Rome and I was pleased to see it was conveniently situated on the way from Trastevere to Piazza Navona.
The fashion street of Via dei Giubbonari was just coming to life as we neared the Piazza.
The market was a perfect fit for the compact Piazza.
There were market bags, spices, pasta and oil for sale and these colourful tins would be great souvenirs if you had space in your bags.
Our accommodation came with a plentiful breakfast (and a fabulous view), but I had been craving fruit and couldn’t resist buying a cup filled with freshly chopped selection. What a brilliant idea for a market stall in a city that receives 7 to 10 million visitors each year! If only one tenth of them were craving fruit…
The pomegranate seeds sprinkled decoratively on top were quite the challenge to eat with a pointed stick.
Roman Artichokes are in season from February to May. As we were there at the end of April, these were end of season globes. Traditionally they are prepared in two ways, Carciofi alla romana where they are sautéed slowly in oil and herbs until tender and soft, or deep fried Jewish style.
Stall holder Claudio Zampa provides recipes for his produce. Italian vegetable recipes are simple so that the freshness of the vegetable takes centre stage.
Is there anything more Italian than Zucchini Flowers?
Well possibly… but who can deny the romanticism that zucchini or marrow flowers bring to the party.[pinit]
The Fontana della Terrina, installed to provide drinking water in 1590 was shifted to it’s current position in 1925 to make way for the statue of Giordani Bruno who was burned at the stake in 1600 for voicing dangerous heretic ideas. In a defiant gesture his statue faces the Vatican City. Today he is hailed as a martyr for free speech (the statue can be seen distantly in the second photo of this post).
A popular restaurant La Carbonara is right here behind the market. I’ve not eaten there and it does get mixed reviews, but later in the day with the market cleared away and everyone out to play, it would be a great people watching venue. Next door is Forno a well known pizza and sandwich place downstairs (good reviews) and a quiet restaurant upstairs.
Flowers for sale near the fountain that is a commonly used meeting place. La Carbonara Restaurant can be seen in the background.
With my fruit salad devoured it was time to continue our Walk toward Piazza Navona.
Budget Travel Talk
In early Spring Rome is perfect for conducting your own walking tour.
Fruit Cup at the market 4 Euro. Fresh and delicious.
We loved our Airbnb apartment just across the river in Trastevere, but if you wanted to experience living near and shopping at the market, then whipping up your own Roman delicacies, you could look at this Airbnb apartment near Campo de’ Fiori. Remember to always read the comments before booking a place to stay – they give you a real feel for the apartment and the district.
If you are new to Airbnb you can receive a $36AUD discount by using this Airbnb Credit. When travelling in Europe or the States we use Airbnb 90% of the time and recommend the experience.
Do you shop at markets when you travel?
Noel over at Travel Photo Mondays is all about Crete this week and I have been obsessed with Crete lately. I’ll take it as a sign…
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