An advantage of staying in a self catering apartment is that you can enjoy the produce supplied by local markets in and around the city centre and for, an albeit brief time, become part of the local culture.
One of our favourites is the Trionfale Market on Via Andrea Doria in the Prati district.
As this is a metro ride away from where we normally stay, we tend to make it part of a 'foodie' shopping morning. We start with cappuccinos at Sciascia, (Via Fabio Massimo 80/A) ........
.......then cornetti from Dolce Maniera (Via Barletta 27)
Onward to the glass and cement structure that is the Trionfale Market. It is easy to find your way around the various aisles as the stalls are colour coded depending on the produce sold - green for fruit/veg, red for meat & blue for fish.
Whatever else we purchase we always end up at the 'sfuso' stall where the very friendly store holder will fill up our plastic containers with wine.
After our market trip we might make our way to La Tradizione (Via Ciprio 8) where the cheese counter is especially tempting.
Amongst other goodies stocked here are Paolo Parisi eggs - expensive but so worth it! The eggs are produced by Leghorn chickens, fed on goats milk, on Parisi's Tuscan farm. We usually have them scrambled for breakfast - the rich yolks make them perfect for this - but they also make amazing mayonnaise.
A hop, skip and jump away from La Tradizione is our chosen lunch spot - Pizzarium (Via della Meloria 43). What can I say about this 'foodie favourite' , other that I dream of the potato & rosemary pizza al taglio from here long after we return home. If you are lucky you can nab a spot on the bench outside.
A favourite weekend market destination is the Farmers Market at Circo Massimo on Via San Teodoro.
We usually fortify ourselves first with an espresso at Crystalli di Zucchero (Via San Teodoro 88) accompanied by one of their delightful sweet treats.........choosing is always difficult.
The market itself sells produce from the Lazio region including porchetta, seasonal fruit and vegetables, flowers and storecupboard items that make wonderful gifts.
We always buy far too many jars of local honey! Pots of herbs also seem to find their way in to our shopping basket. These are 'donated' to the apartment when we leave. After browsing and buying, lunch beckons. Sometimes we pick up a porchetta sandwich and tumbler of wine and eat at the communal tables set up in the courtyard.
Alternatively, if we are visiting May/early June, we pick up bread, porchetta and a huge bag of cherries and head up to the Rose Garden to enjoy our feast amongst the heady scent of the blooms.
The Esquilino market, formally known as Piazza Vittorio', is a multi ethnic market full of spices, exotic vegetables and infinite varieties of rice.
Also rainbow coloured and embellished fabrics just waiting to be transformed into someone's dream sari.
Every year we vow we will buy the ingredients for a fabulous curry from this market and create it in our apartment......and every year Italian cuisine takes over. We can actually be forgiven for this as our home town is famous for its Indian restaurants so 'when in Rome.......'
Fortunately Esquiline market also has many stalls selling beautiful local produce at incredibly low prices, including tomatoes absolutely bursting with flavour
All credit must go to Gina for showing us this side to the market. A visit here is usually preceded by coffee at Panella (Via Merulana 54). The coffee beans here are unique to Panella and the vertical coffee machine is iconic.
Post market visit is to Roscioli 2 (Via Buonarotti 48) where we pick up lunch to take back to the apartment. Everything looks delicious......but we usually pick up pomodoro al riso.....mmmmm!!
Finally, a recommendation for a different type of market. Sofitta Sotti i Portico is a flea market held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month under the colonnades of Piazza Augusto Imperiatore. If vintage jewellery and household items are 'your thing' then this is the place for an enjoyable stroll around the stalls in the shadow of the Tomb of Augustus.