There are many ways to visit a city. Shopping in its markets is one of the best ways to really capture the atmosphere. This is why you have to go to Testaccio, the most popular and least touristic market in the capital, and mingle with the sharp-tongued but friendly Romans who go there every day to stock up on fresh produce and be berated in romanesco, the local dialect of the vendors. The products are a reflection of the clientele: local. Tomatoes, artichokes, chicory, beans straight from the countryside, sold by fruttaroli (retailers) or vignaroli (small producers) in this semi-open market.
Don't be put off by the linear and orderly appearance of this mercato rionale, which certainly has mellowed since it was moved from the adjoining Piazza Testaccio to its new, more comfortable home. It remains just as authentic and colourful. And the shoes and handbags sold here are a real bargain.
Testaccio Food Market