In Rome, Straddling Seasons

Written by Katie Parla on June 9, 2010

After seven months of apocalyptic miserable weather, including an insanely cold and rainy spring, it seems summer is finally on its way. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think the infernal temperatures these past few days are a sign that the notoriously hot Roman summer has arrived.

At the market, however, we are still straddling seasons. Expect to find both spring and summer produce at your local produce vendor. This morning I hit up my fruttivendolo in the Celio and he had spring’s bounty: cherries, asparagus, lettuce, strawberries, and all sorts of apples. The early summer fruits were there as well: watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, plums, eggplants. And of course there were the fruits and vegetables that span both seasons like pears, chard, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, green beans.

For great produce in Rome, give Campo de’ Fiori a pass. Yes, it is famous and yes, you can find quality stuff there. But you’ll also find higher prices and an abundance of out of season produce. I recommend visiting one of the city’s other large produce markets. You can find them in Testaccio, Monteverde Nuovo (Piazza San Giovanni di Dio), Esquilino/Termini (the Piazza Vittorio Market aka Nuovo Mercato Esquilino is located just northeast of Piazza Vittorio), Vaticano/Prati (Mercato Trionfale is located off Via Andrea Doria).

For more on buying and trying local produce in Rome, consult these links:

In Rome, Really Local Food

Rome’s Dining Trend Highlights Products of Lazio

Rome Sustainable Food Project Thrives

Farmer’s Market at the Circus Maximus

Organic Shopping in Rome

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