Circo Massimo Farmers Market


icona-alimentareIt used to be the Jewish fish market. In Medieval times, Tevere river and the river port of  Ripa Grande used to welcome the boats landing  from Ostia. Originally, fish waste (fish bones, heads) or ‘poor quality’ fish were put to good use for one of the historical recipes of the ‘Ghetto’: the Roman fish broth. To recall ancient times, the new market opened in 2009 hosts a fish stall, actually a real fishmonger selling very fresh fish.


A walk through the stalls

At San Teodoro market, all products are fresh and local, grown, raised and processed in Lazio region by the agricultural firms which are always there. There are pulses and flours produced by Cerqueto firm from Acquapendente, bread and bio pizza by Le due monelle.

Fruit and vegetable stalls take the lead (they all have a ticket to avoid queues), selling local products, including some biological agriculture stalls. riccardo maria
Maria and Riccardo, mother and son, are among the most friendly. Seasonal products, well presented (on the website you can check the fruit and vegetables calendar).
There are also honey, nuts and chocolate creams, pickled vegetables, peeled tomatoes and tomato sauces, juices and jams (Giuseppina and her husband’s agricultural firm).

You can find Sergio and – when he is not there – the daughter Martina selling goat cheese and seadas  (sweet dumplings with a filling of Pecorino cheese) ready to fry, while at the wine stall there is always Danilo with his smile and a glass for wine tasting.

4In the very likely event that all this wonderfully tempting fresh produce whets your appetite, you could take some “time out” to join other hungry shoppers at the tables in the courtyard and treat yourself to some of your purchases or try the menu of one of the farm chefs who rotate at the market every week. Typical menu: spelt soup, olive stew, tripe, lamb pluck or grilled vegetables. One dish with bread, water and wine for 6€.
The Apecar in the courtyard offers fresh fruits and vegetables juices in summer and hot soups in winter.

After buying all you need for cooking, with one last stop you can decorate your table at the big flower stall just before the exit or at Drassiflor’s stall, offering succulent and carnivorous plants and herbs.

Alice’s wonderland


"What I like the most at Circo Massimo market is that it is all in circle. Once you have had a ride, you can start again … just like a merry-go-round!
The first time I went there with Mummy and Daddy, I didn’t realize and it looked so big and never seemed to end. Mummy and Daddy didn’t really know where to go, after a while they realize we were just going around and around.
So I complained until they finally lifted me up to see the stalls… amazing!7
My favorite stall is the pumpkin stall. There are so many of them, all different: long and thin or big and round, orange or green. The man at the stall is very nice, he once gave us a bright orange pumpkin for free. He said to Mummy ‘there you go, you can make a pumpkin soup for your lovely daughter!’. He doesn’t know that I don’t eat grown up food yet, apart from pear ice cream. But I liked him, so maybe I will try the pumpkin soup.
I only eat pear ice cream as there is no milk. Because when I eat something with milk I get all those red spots on my face. Here at the market there is goat milk ice cream, I have tried but I still got red spots.
The last time I came I met a boy. His name is Owen, his Daddy is from Rome and his Mummy from Texas. He is brown like chocolate, milk chocolate. I am afraid I could not eat him anyway 
He has beautiful eyes and curly hair. We held hands. Maybe next time I’ll meet him again!"



Butternut pumpkin cream for 4 people

Our pumpkin expert suggests to use a ‘butternut’ pumpkin, also known as ‘violin’ due to its shape, with a ‘suede’ color pulp.

Take half a kilogram of pumpkin pulp cut in cubes and brown it in a pan with some olive oil and a thin sliced leek. When browned, add some salt and vegetable broth (that you can prepare boiling few carrots, celery and fennels). When the pumpkin is soft enough, blend it with 100 ml of liquid cream. You can serve it in Martini glasses and decorate with a ‘tempura’ pumpkin flower.

Just around the corner


It’s literally around the corner. Walking out of the market, on your right you will find CIRCO MASSIMO, the biggest ‘stadium’ from ancient times.
The story goes that this is the place where , during a cart race, the rape of the Sabine women took place. The ellipse of the race is still visible: the path once followed by horses carts, later proposed as a landscape of the most famous scene of BEN HUR (if the ‘cultural’ authority of the city had not denied authority for shooting), is now one of the preferred destinations of joggers. The two obelisks that were once in the middle of the track, now embellish Popolo and S.Giovanni in Laterano squares.
The only building still standing inside Circo Massimo has been there since Medieval times: the Moletta tower, where the noble lady Jacopa de' Settesoli hosted in 1223 her friend Francesco d'Assisi (apparently such close friends that, Beata Jacopa is buried in Assisi in front of the Saint’s grave).

Popolo e di S.Giovanni in Laterano. L'unico edificio che ancora si innalza nel Circo ci è rimasto dal Medioevo: è la Torre della Moletta, dove si dice che la nobile romana Jacopa de' Settesoli abbia ricevuto nel 1223 il suo amico Francesco d'Assisi (talmente amici, i due, che oggi la Beata Jacopa è sepolta ad Assisi di fronte alla tomba del Santo).

The Circo splits up two historical Roman hills: on one side the ruins of Palatino, the hill where the mythic founder Romolo established his home and where throughout centuries all the main temples and imperial homes of Ancient Rome were built. On the Aventino side, the severe soul of one of the country’s founders, Giuseppe Mazzini, and the flower-scented one of the PUBLIC ROSE GARDEN (it’s really worth a walk, if you are in Rome in spring: it’s open only when in full bloom ).


It might be just a coincidence, but the rose garden is in the same place where there once was a temple dedicated to the goddess Flora. While it is not by coincidence that the alleys on one side of the garden resemble the shape of a menorah, the 7 candles holder of the Jewish tradition: it is a way to thank the Jewish community for allowing the rose garden to be built where, for over two centuries, the Israelitic cemetery was.

p.s. those passing by Rome out of the blossom season, can walk a little further beyond the rose garden, up on Aventino hill, to find the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden): the plants after which the garden is named might not be as beautiful as the roses, but the view of the city is spectacular!


And then, only a few steps away from the market, there is one of the most popular attractions in town, which became immortal after ‘Roman holiday’: THE TRUTH MOUTH. The marble mask, probably a ‘prosaic’ manhole in old times, has been a legend since Medieval times. Tradition says that the mask punishes those who tell lies, eating the hand of the liar. Gregory Peck gives a good example in the movie mentioned above: apparently he improvised the scene and Audrey Hepburn’s scared reaction was real, not acted. If you visit the Truth Mouth, don’t be surprised to see many tourists doing the same in front of their fiancés: many legends around this monument refer to couple’s unfaithfulness. Don’t let ‘Roman holiday’ fool you on this: while the two actors enter S.Maria in Cosmedin church pronaos and find it empty, you will have to stand in a long queue before putting your hand in the mask’s mouth and prove your faithfulness!

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Where Via San Teodoro, 74
open Saturday (9:00-18:00) and Sunday (9:00-16:00)
PArking Via Dei Cerchi, Via San Teodoro, Via del Circo Massimo

From Termini Railway Station, Line 170
From Piazza Venezia, Line 170, Line 160, Line 95
From Piazza del Colosseo, Line 81

metro line B, (Circo Massimo, Colosseo stop)

telefono – 06.4073090; 06.48993.204/215 – dalle 9:00 alle 14:00
internet site (in english)