There are many ways to visit a city. Shopping in its markets is one of the best ways to intensely capture the atmosphere. In order to live such an experience, head to Testaccio, the most popular and least touristic market in the capital, and mingle with the sharp-tongued but friendly Romans - the real ones - who go there every day to stock up on fresh produce. 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 (local market), 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, where sellers berated in Romanesco, the local dialect, and lure in customers. In passing, here's a tip: parts of the markets are reserved to the sale of bargain shoes and handbags. Deals ahead!
Testaccio Food Market
Via Beniamino Franklin