Top 10 food markets in Rome

Top 10 food markets in Rome

Top 10 food markets in Rome

Rome has numerous markets selling fresh, locally-produced food. Some are open daily, some only at weekends. Below is a list of ten of the best markets, in various areas of the city.

Biomercato alla Città dell’Altra Economia

The BioMercato farmer’s market is held at the Città dell’Altra Economia complex in Testaccio every Sunday from 09.00 until dusk. The market offers organic food products from the Lazio region and allows customers to speak directly to the farmers and food producers. There is also a SpazioBio organic supermarket, the Café Boario and the Stazione di Posta restaurant all of which are open on Sundays, and during the week except Monday. Largo Dino Frisullo, tel. 065740174

Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo

This farmers’ market takes place at weekends beside Circo Massimo. Food producers and farmers from the Lazio region sell their locally-produced fresh foods including cheeses, olive oil, cured meats, honey, wine, sausages and truffles. There are often children’s activities and food tastings, and visitors can also have lunch at the market, selecting the ingredients of their choice. Sat 09.00-18.00, Sun 09.00-16.00. Closed Sun in July, all August. Via di S. Teodoro 74, tel. 06489931

Campo de’ Fiori

The popular market at Campo de’ Fiori takes place under the statue of Giordano Bruno, and dates back to the 1800s. It features a large range of fruit, vegetables and spices, as well an increasing amount of tourist souvenirs and general household ware. Open Mon-Sat 06.00-14.00, closed Sun. Piazza Campo De’ Fiori.

Farmer’s Market Garbatella

In addition to fruit and veg, this weekend farmer’s market offers pastries, sauces, fruit juices, cakes, honey and jam, all produced in Lazio. Located in the Garbatella district, the market is also known for its fresh fish and seafood from Terracina south of Rome. Sat 08.30-18.00, Sun 08.30-14.30. Via Francesco Passino 22, tel. 0651605073

Nuovo Mercato Esquilino

Located near Termini station, this is probably the best place in Rome to purchase hard-to-find exotic herbs and spices. The Nuovo Mercato Esquilino offers a huge range of ethnic food including vegetables, spices, olives, cheese, meat and fish. There are also reasonable prices at the market which has entrances on Via Principe Amedeo, Via Mamiani, Via Turati and Via Lamarmora. Mon-Sat 05.00 alle 15.00. Via Principe Amedeo 184

Nuovo Mercato Trionfale

Rome’s largest street market, the Mercato Trionfale, has over 270 stalls, divided into sections for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. The market also sells dried foods, nuts, eggs, cheese, jam and honey, as well as having a haberdashery element, with household items and childrens’ toys. Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat 07.00-14.00. Tues, Fri 07.00-19.00. Via Andrea Doria 3 (Via Tunisi)

Mercato dell’Unità

This fruit and veg market is housed in a neo-classical building about half-way along the stylish shopping street Via Cola di Rienzo, in the Prati district. Unlike most other markets which pack up by early afternoon, this covered market stays open until late. Its other boast is that it has underground parking. Mon-Sat 07.00-20.00. Piazza dell’Unità 53

Mercato S. Silverio

Busy medium-sized market located just off Via Gregorio VII, near St Peter’s, selling fresh produce mainly from the hinterlands of Rome. On offer is a decent selection of fruit and veg, fish, meat and cheeses of all kinds, as well as clothes. Open Mon-Sat mornings

Testaccio Market

The market at Testaccio is located in large, modern premises near MACRO Testaccio between Via Alessandro Volta, Via Galvani, Via Ghiberti and Via Beniamino Franklin. The covered area is lined with butchers, fishmongers and grocers selling an array of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, as well as more unusual items such as artisan doughnuts and organic wine. Mon-Thurs 07.00-14.00 and Fri 07.00-18.30 (non-stop), Sat 07.00-14.00. Sun closed. Via Beniamino Franklin 12

Storico Mercato Delle Coppelle

This small but picturesque street market is located in the historic centre, near the Pantheon. It offers fruit, vegetables and flowers each morning (with the exception of Sunday) from 07.00-13.00. Piazza delle Coppelle.

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Rome 12th most visited city in world

Rome 12th most visited city in world

Rome 12th most visited city in world

9.6 million international tourists expected to visit Rome in 2017.

Rome ranks in 12th place on the 2017 Top 100 City Destinations survey. The data is provided by statistics compiled by market researcher Euromonitor International.
The Italian capital is predicted to draw 9.6 million international tourists by the end of 2017. Representing a growth of 1.8 per cent compared to last year’s figure of 9.4 million visitors.
Hong Kong retains its crown as the planet’s most visited city for the ninth consecutive year. With 25.7 million international tourists expected in 2017, despite a predicted 3.2 per cent drop from its 26.55 million visitors in 2016. In second place is Bangkok (21.25 million in 2016; 23.27 expected in 2017) followed by London (19.19 million last year; 19.8 expected this year).
Although Rome is the third most visited European city – after Paris in seventh place with 14.26 million visitors expected this year –  it only attracts half the number of foreign tourists that flock to London.
The three other Italian cities on the list are: Milan in 27th place with 6.8 million, Venice in 38th place (5.2 million) and Florence in 44th position with 4.9 million tourists.

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10 facts about the Pantheon

10 FACTS ABOUT THE PANTHEON

1. The Pantheon in the historic centre of Rome was built by Emperor Hadrian between 119-128 AD. Before that, two buildings had existed on the same site but both burned to the ground leaving little trace, one in 80 AD and the second in 110 AD. Historians estimate that the original building was constructed somewhere between 29-19 BC by Marcus Agrippa. A Roman architect and consul, close friend, son-in-law and right-hand man to Emperor Augustus.
2. The inscription at the entrance of the Pantheon reads, in Latin: “M.AGRIPPA.L.F.COS.TERTIUM.FECIT”. It translates roughly as “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, having been consul three times, made it (or Marcus Agrippa constructed this while being consul for the third time)”. Although Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the Pantheon long after Agrippa’s death, the inscription remains.
3. Sixteen columns support the arcade above which stands the inscription in honour of Agrippa. The immense columns, which were transported from Egypt, are estimated to weigh 60 tons each.
4. What is the Pantheon? Originally, it is believed to have been a pagan temple dedicated to all Roman gods. The name pantheon has Greek roots and means all (pan) gods (theos). However, some scholars disagree with this hypothesis. They claiming that its name is not necessarily proof of its activity. But of its size due to the sense of awe that the Pantheon still inspires on those who admire it from up close.
5. In the year 608 AD, Emperor Phocas gave the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated it as a church in honour of St Mary and the Martyrs. It is still officially a church but no longer a parish church. It can still be visited free of charge. However the Italian culture ministry has been in negotiations with the city’s diocesan authorities in an attempt to introduce an entry fee in early 2018.
6. The dome has a circular hole at its centre called an oculus. So yes, this also means that it rains inside, which is not a problem due to the well-hidden drainage holes in the floor. What is most interesting about the open ceiling however is that on 21 April, on the celebration of Rome’s birthday, the midday sun shines through the oculus on to the Pantheon’s door. Also, to mark the annual Christian feast of Pentecost. A mediaeval ceremony revived in 1995 involves tens of thousands of rose petals being dropped through the oculus, symbolising the Holy Spirit’s descent to Earth.
Over the centuries many of the features of Hadrian’s Pantheon were sacked by emperors and popes. Beginning with the Byzantine emperor Constans II in 663 who ripped the gilt bronze tiles off the roof and took them to Syracuse in order to ship them to Constantinople. They never arrived because they were stolen by pirates on the way. In the 17th century Urban VIII took the gilt from the portico to make 80 cannons for Castel S. Angelo. However he added two campanili, sometimes attributed to Bernini, to the outside of the building. As they never fitted with the design of the original building they were finally taken down in the mid 1880s. In 1870 the new government of the united Italy took over the maintenance of the buiding and it became a national shrine and memorial to the kings of the new kingdom.
7. Another curiosity about the Pantheon’s dimensions is that the height from the floor to the oculus, and the diameter of the dome are the same: 43.2 m. This means that a perfect sphere could fit inside the Pantheon. Which is believed to be a symbolic reference to a sacred place, or quite literally, to the celestial sphere.
8. Raphael, who died in 1520, is buried in the Pantheon next to one of his lovers, Maria Bibbiena. Gossip has it that he always intended to marry her but postponed the day repeatedly because he was having an affair with La Fornarina, immortalised in his portrait of her which now hangs in Palazzo Barberini. Numerous other painters – Annibale Caracci, Taddeo Zuccari, Baldassarre Peruzzi, Pierino del Vaga and Giovanni da Udine – are also buried there. The two first kings of Italy are enshrined inside the Pantheon, Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I along with his wife Margherita.
9. The Pantheon’s dome was the largest in the world for over 1300 years, until the title passed to Florence’s cathedral in 1436. Today the world record is held by the National Stadium in Singapore however the Pantheon remains in 15th place.
10. The Pantheon still retains a record however: it is the world’s largest concrete dome suspended without reinforcement. This is possibly due to a combination of factors, including the arches contained in the 6m-thick walls supporting the ceiling, the various densities of concrete used in the construction of the dome and its thickness which lessens gradually as it nears the centre. This is why the dome appears slightly flattened from the outside while seeming perfectly round from the inside.

Find out more than 10 facts about the Pantheon on our Best of Rome Tour: https://www.realrometours.com/tours/best-of-rome/

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Guide to Rome’s Underground sites

Guide to Rome’s Underground sites

Rome has a myriad of underground sites in the centre and in the suburbs, from catacombs and church crypts to ancient Roman villas and pagan temples.
Most of these sites are not open to the public on a regular basis, either because they are too dangerous or because it is not possible to provide staff for visits. Updated news and visiting information can be found on useful websites such as Sotterranei di Roma, Roma Sotterranea, Amici di Roma, Roma Capitale and Beni Archeologi di Roma.
Acquedotto Vergine
Via del Nazareno 9/a, tel. 060608.
The Aqua Virgo was built in 19 BC mainly to supply the Agrippa Baths in Rome’s Campo Marzio district. It still supplies water to the Trevi Fountain today. Group visits only, booking required. 09.00-19.00. The basement of the Rinascente department store on Via del Tritone also houses a 60-m section of the acqueduct. Mon closed.
Auditorium di Mecenate
Largo Leopardi (Via Merulana), tel. 060608.
Located under a public garden in the Esquilino district, this fresco-covered nymphaeum is all that remains of a vast architectural complex belonging to Gaius Maecenas, or Mecenate, an advisor to Octavian and enlightened patron of the arts. Group visits only.
Basilica di S. Clemente
Via Labicana 95, tel. 067740021.
A 12th-century basilica built over a fourth-century domus ecclesiae – a church in a private home – for early Christian worshippers. This in turn was constructed over buildings dating from between the first and third centuries AD, including a pagan temple. Mon-Sat 09.00-12.30, 15.00-18.00. Sun 12.15-18.00.
Catacombs of S. Agnese
Via Nomentana 349, tel. 068610840.
Named in honour of the virgin and martyr St Agnes, these catacombs in the Trieste district date to the second half of the third century. 09.00-12.00, 16.00-18.00. Closed Sun mornings and religious feast days.
Catacombs of S. Callisto
Via Appia Antica 110, tel. 0651301580.
These important catacombs origins are coming from the second century and occupy some 36 hectares. The four levels of tunnels cover 20 km and are more than 20m deep. Among the thousands of people buried here are ten martyrs and 16 popes. 09.00-12.00, 14.00-17.00, Wed closed.
Catacombs of S. Domitilla
Via delle Sette Chiese 282, tel. 065110342.
Rome’s oldest and best-preserved catacombs contains a network of tunnels covering 17km, a second-century fresco of The Last Supper and a fourth-century subterranean church. 09.00-12.00, 14.00-17.00. Closed Tues and 16 Dec-13 Jan.
Catacombs of Priscilla
Via Salaria 430, tel. 0686206272.
Situated near the Villa Ada park, these catacombs comprise a series of labyrinthine tunnels and burial chambers excavated between the second and fifth centuries. 08.30-12.00, 14.30-17.00. Closed Mon and Aug.
Catacombs of S. Sebastiano
Via Appia Antica 136, tel. 067850350.
From the first century this maze of tunnels and caves was used extensively to inter pagans and Christians, including the martyrs Sebastian and Eutychius. 10.00-17.00. Closed Sun and 1-28 Dec.
Capuchin Crypt
Via Vittorio Veneto 27, tel. 0688803695.
The vaults and walls of the four chapels in the Capuchin crypt are decorated with the bones of 4,000 monks who died between 1600 and 1800. Located under the church of S. Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. 09.00-19.00.
Church of S. Crisogono
Piazza Sidney Sonnino 44, (Viale Trastevere), tel. 065810076.
Underground site including an early Christian church and a third-century Roman house. Mon-Sat 07.30-11.30, 16.00-19.00. Sun 08.00-13.00, 16.00-19.00. Not possible to visit excavations during celebration of Mass.
Church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina
Via in Lucina 16, tel. 066871494.
This underground site was originally thought to have been a Roman house for early Christian worship but recent research indicates that it may have been a pre-Christian temple to Giunone Lucina, the goddess of pregnant women. Tours last Saturday of the month at 16.15.
Church of S. Nicola in Carcere
Via del Teatro di Marcello 46, tel. 0668892781.
The remains of three Republican-era temples, cells and alleys under the altar were once part of the bustling Forum Boarium complex, ancient Rome’s cattle market. 10.00-17.00. Wed closed.
Crypta Balbi
Via delle Botteghe Oscure 31, 0639967700.
Built over the ancient Roman Theatre of Balbus, this partially-underground museum is dedicated to urban archaeology and the Middle Ages. Tues-Sun 09.00-19.45. Mon closed.
Domus Aurea
Viale della Domus Aurea 1.
Emperor Nero’s golden palace was built after the great fire of Rome in 64 AD on a sprawling site in the Colle Oppio area. Guided tours in English Sat-Sun 09.00-16.45. Virtual reality tours Sat-Sun 09.00-18.15 (last admission 17.00).
Hadrian’s Crypt (Bocca della Verità)
Piazza Bocca della Verità 18.
Under the altar in the church of S. Maria in Cosmedin there is a small eighth-century crypt built to hold relics extracted from the catacombs by Pope Hadrian I. Mon-Sat 10.00-14.00, 15.00-17.30, Sun 12.00-17.30.
Jewish catacombs
Via Nomentana 70 and Via Appia Pignatelli 4.
The are six Jewish catacombs in Rome but not all are accessible. The Villa Torlonia catacombs, on Via Nomentana 70, are the largest and best known, while the Vigna Randanini catacombs, on Via Appia Pignatelli 4, opened to the public for the first time in 2016.
Mithraeum in Circo Massimo
Piazza Bocca della Verità 16, tel. 060608.
Guided visits for groups only. This five-room mithraeum, at the Bocca della Verità end of the Circus Maximus, is dedicated to the Roman deity Mithras. It dates to the fourth century but was only rediscovered in 1931.
Mithraeum in S. Prisca
Via di S. Prisca 11, tel. 0639967700.
The church of S. Prisca on the Aventine was built over a first-century temple to Mithras. Open on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, for individuals at 16.00, for groups at 15.00 and 17.00. Booking required.
Palazzo Valentini
Via Foro Traiano 85 (Piazza Venezia), tel. 0622761280.
The remains of ancient Roman houses are on permanent display below Palazzo Valentini, just off Piazza Venezia. 09.30-18.30. Tue closed.
Terme di Caracalla
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52.
These Roman baths have a maze of underground areas including a gymnasium, changing rooms, frigidarium, tepidarium and caldarium. Open daily, Mon half day.
Stadium of Domitian
Via di Tor Sanguigna 3, tel. 0668805311.
The remains of the Domiziano Stadium, a Unesco World Heritage Site commissioned around AD 80 by Emperor Domitianus, are located about 4.5m under Piazza Navona. Daily 10.00-19.00, Sat 10.00-20.00. Audio guide available.
Vatican scavi
St Peter’s Basilica.
This Imperial-era necropolis contains the tomb of St Peter. Only private visits on request. Tour groups are approximately 12 people, according to language. For information see website or go to excavations office to the left of the Bernini colonnade in St Peter’s Square. Mon-Fri 09.00-18.00, Sat 09.00-17.00.

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