In ancient times, Rome used to be a centre of commerce and trade, and markets have played a big role in the daily life of its residents for centuries. Just think about the Roman Forum or Trajan’s Market. Both located in the heart of the city, they were bustling marketplaces where vendors, merchants, and shoppers come to buy and sell goods.
In Rome today, you can find a wide range of markets catering to various interests and tastes. Whether you’re a fan of little vintage treasures, searching for unique antiques, or just looking for a specialised market that suits your specific needs, the Roman markets will have something for you.
What to Expect
Rome, being a large city, offers many different types of markets ranging from small neighbourhood markets to larger, more renowned ones.
Rome offers numerous markets where you can find almost anything
The markets in Rome generally operate in the mornings, typically starting around 7 or 8 AM, and continue until early afternoon. Most food markets follow a Monday-to-Saturday schedule, while vintage markets tend to be open on Sundays.
Markets in Rome usually operate in the mornings
Specific market hours may vary slightly depending on the individual market and its location. That’s why I suggest you check the opening hours before visiting.
Most markets in Rome offer free entry, allowing you to explore and browse without any admission fees. However, certain specialised markets, particularly vintage ones, may require a small entrance fee.
Regarding prices at the markets, they can vary depending on the quality and type of items being sold. However, one thing remains consistent: markets in Rome provide excellent value for money, particularly when it comes to fresh produce and unique goods.
Markets in Rome provide great value for money
On top of these markets, some special ones only run on specific days, where you’ll find more things. Most markets run only in the morning, so set your alarm early if you want to visit some.
Each neighbourhood in the city has its own food market, offering an array of fresh produce, meats, and fish. These markets are renowned for the quality of their products, with vendors sourcing locally grown ingredients, often from farms in the region.
Food markets in Rome offer locally grown ingredients
As you wander through the market stalls, you may encounter locals, including nonne (grandmothers), carefully selecting the finest ingredients for their traditional recipes and chatting with loud vendors.
In Roman markets you’ll find nonne selecting the finest ingredients
Prices are often competitive compared to supermarkets, and you can find a wide range of products that aren’t commonly available — especially if you decide to visit international food markets such as the one in Piazza Vittorio.
Campo de’ Fiori Market
The history of Campo de’ Fiori Market in Rome dates back to ancient times. The name Campo de’ Fiori translates to Field of Flowers in English and is thought to refer to the natural beauty of this place during Roman times when it was a field.
Since the Roman Republic era, the area slowly turned into a place of trade but has also been a site of historical events. In 1600, the philosopher and Dominican friar Giordano Bruno was actually executed in the square for his controversial ideas, and a monument now stands in his honour at the centre of Campo de’ Fiori.
In the mid-19th century, the area underwent a transformation as it was designated as a market square, especially known for its fresh produce and flowers. Campo de’ Fiori Market has now become an iconic landmark in Rome and a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.
Campo de’ Fiori is one of the few open-air food markets left in Rome, as most have been moved inside buildings.
Although still charming, the market has undergone significant changes compared to its earlier days, now primarily catering to tourists, resulting in a less authentic experience.
Mercato di Testaccio traces its origins back to the early 20th century when the Testaccio district was a hub of industrial and working-class activity. In response to the growing population living in the area, Mercato di Testaccio was constructed in 1928. It was designed by architect Eugenio Gino Levi Montalcini and engineer Piero Aschieri. The market is located near the ancient Monte Testaccio, an artificial hill made of discarded Roman amphorae.
Over time, the Testaccio neighbourhood underwent a process of gentrification and became one of the trendiest areas of Rome. The market also adapted to these changes and underwent a renovation by architect Marco Rietti, but it remains a beloved institution. With its 100 stalls, Mercato di Testaccio offers a variety of fresh meat, fish, and produce, as well as an array of amazing street food stalls, clothing, and shoes.
Mercato Testaccio is definitely the most hip market in town
The opening hours of Mercato Testaccio are from 7 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday to Saturday.
The entrances to the market are located on the following streets:
- Via Beniamino Franklin
- Via Alessandro Volta
- Via Aldo Manuzio
- Via Lorenzo Ghilberti
The market can also be easily reached by taking a 15-minute walk from the B line metro stop Piramide.
Mercato di Piazza Vittorio
If you have a passion for spices and international cuisine, you mustn’t miss visiting the morning food market of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The entire area is known for its abundance of international food shops and restaurants. Its market follows the same spirit.
The market of Piazza Vittorio used to take place every morning in the centre of the square, around the beautiful public park of Piazza Vittorio. In recent years, as part of the redevelopment of the Esquilino district, the market has been moved inside a building in via Principe Amedeo.
In Mercato di Piazza Vittorio, you’ll find a huge variety of international foods
Step into the Piazza Vittorio Market, and you’ll encounter two sections. The first, although smaller, offers a nice range of clothing and footwear.
One section of Mercato di Piazza Vittorio offers a range of clothing and footwear
But the real treasure lies in the expansive section. Here, you’ll find a range of global delights: Asian spices, exotic fruits and vegetables, an array of rice and legumes, impeccably fresh seafood, and mouthwatering halal meats. Oh, and be sure not to skip a visit to Roscioli’s counter, where you can indulge in their delectable freshly baked bread and pizza—truly a culinary delight in Rome.
To access the Mercato di Piazza Vittorio, make your way to the main entrance on Via Principe Amedeo, 184, conveniently located near the Vittorio Emanuele metro stop. The market is open from 5 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Saturday.
Flea Markets and Vintage Clothing
If you love rummaging through stalls, buying vintage clothing, and striking deals, Rome is one of the cities that will not disappoint you.
There are several flea markets in Rome where you can find a little bit of everything: new and used clothing, furniture pieces, trinkets, toys, art, and even food. However, in my opinion, the real bargains you will find are related to both vintage and contemporary clothing.
Tip: Besides the traditional markets, you will come across occasional vintage clothing stands throughout the city offering incredibly low prices.
Porta Portese is the market of Rome. The market takes place along a street that starts right from Porta Portese and goes almost all the way to Trastevere station.
You will find absolutely everything: from new and used clothing and shoes to antique pieces, artworks, ancient paintings, and oriental perfumes.
For clothing, expect a selection to be different from what you would find in a charity shop. Generally, these market stalls have disorderly piles of clothes, and, at best, they are divided into broad categories. However, the fun is precisely in rummaging through the piles of clothes and finding something unique to take home.
Having some fun rummaging through clothes in Porta Portese
Porta Portese market only takes place on Sunday mornings – rain or shine – and lasts until around lunchtime. If you want to get the best deals, go early, also because it will take you quite a while to explore the whole market due to its size.
Porta Portese runs on Sundays, rain or shine
Porta Portese is a free-entry street market. It’s very crowded, so the advice is always to be mindful of pickpockets. Personally, when I go, I always try to dress a bit scruffy to avoid looking like a walking wallet and carry as little valuables as possible to minimise the risk of being pickpocketed while rummaging through the clothes.
Tip: When visiting Porta Portese, carry as little as possible and dress slightly scruffy – it will minimise the risk of being targeted by pickpockets.
Vintage Market Roma
Vintage Market Roma is not exactly a market but rather an event. However, if you love anything unique and are looking for the perfect vintage Levi’s 501 or some vintage Italian high fashion in perfect condition, I recommend paying it a visit – I’ve made some spectacular purchases there.
In addition to vintage items, you will find an abundance of craftsmanship, often comprising true one-of-a-kind pieces created by local artists. The selection includes screen prints, lamps, and handmade bags. Many of these items would serve as perfect souvenirs, and they have saved me countless hours for Christmas and birthdays.
Vintage Market Roma is not a fixed event but has been happening regularly for a few years, so it deserves mention in this guide to Rome’s markets. If you want to go there, check their social media pages and official website to find out when the next events will occur.
Borghetto Flaminio is Rome’s vintage luxury market. Established in 1994, following the model of American garage sales, it is the ideal place to purchase sought-after luxury items at affordable prices – including Hermés scarves or Toulouse Lautrec drawings.
All the sellers are amateur enthusiasts, and it’s not uncommon to encounter local celebrities here, searching for collectible pieces.
Many markets in Rome offer great deals on luxury items
There is a small entrance fee, a symbolic amount that helps in curating the clientele. The Borghetto Flaminio market is located at Piazza della Marina, 32, in the exclusive Flaminio neighbourhood. It can be reached by taking tram 2 from Piazzale Flaminio or walking from the Flaminio metro station.
You can visit the market every Sunday from 10 AM to 7 PM.
Mercatino di Ponte Milvio
If you love vintage and antiques, the market to visit is definitely Ponte Milvio. In this market, which has been taking place every Sunday for over 20 years, you’ll find carefully selected antiques from all over Italy. The area around Ponte Milvio is very beautiful, and the view of the river and greenery will make your shopping day even more enjoyable.
There is no subway connection in the Ponte Milvio area, but you can reach the location by bus:
- Bus 223 and 910 from Termini Station
- Bus 168 from Tiburtina Station
- Bus 301 or tram line 2 from Piazza del Popolo
Alternatively, you can go by car – a better option if you’re planning to leave with a nice furniture piece or a precious painting.
The market takes place every Sunday from 9 AM to 7 PM on via Capoprati, from Ponte Milvio to Ponte Duca D’Aosta, running parallel to the cycle path.
The flower market in Rome has experienced several closures and relocations in recent years. Originally, this market, where you can buy beautiful flower bouquets at affordable prices, took place on Via Urbana in the Monti District. It was later moved to Via Andrea Doria in the Prati neighbourhood, and currently, it has been relocated inside the meat market on Viale Palmiro Togliatti, 1280.
The current location certainly lacks the charm of the previous ones, but it still offers the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of cut flowers and plants. The market is open to the public every Saturday from 8:30 to 11:00, with free admission.
Organic Market: Biomercato alla Città dell’Altra Economia
Once upon a time, in this vast open space located in front of the Monte dei Cocci in Testaccio, animals were traded. Today, Campo Boario in Largo Dino Frisullo is home to a market of organic food and products – many with certification to prove it’s organic.
For the best organic food, head to Biomercato
You will find 30 farms selling organic fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, wine, oil, meat, dairy products, cold cuts, and local specialties. The market takes place every Sunday from 9 AM to 5:30 PM.