Officially open to the public on Tuesday mornings for a few hours, the flowers market in Andrea Doria road is mainly dedicated to whole and retail sellers. On two floors, the upper one for cut flowers and the lower for plants, it has been waiting to be moved or renovated for years.
A walk through the stalls
The ‘board’ has recently posted a few signs to inform all customers that there will be no move, but in the next months they will start to restore this old building, which really needs a renovation. It’s since 1965 that the market is held there (previously hosted in Urbana road, Monti area).In order to have more choice, especially on flowers, you have to be lucky or arrive a little before the opening to the public. On the floor dedicated to plants and seeds, the offering is wider and richer even in the slot for ‘non professional’ customers. IThe advantage of this market is obviously the price, but also the availability of colors and varieties. You could take home a bouquet of twelve roses for 6 euros. It’s ideal for those looking for flowers for their own home or those able to make compositions on their own, as rarely the seller will prepare real bouquets for you. On top of roses, hyacinths, tulips, sunflowers and other seasonal varieties, you could find many other interesting things to decorate your homes or tables: apples, little pumpkins, berries or cobs could become beautiful centerpieces, with a little creativity and manual skills.
“When I got at the flowers market, to be honest, I was kind of worried, because flowers are beautiful, but can be also unpleasant… do you remember the Disney cartoon? I go there to admire roses, tulips, gladiolus and snap dragons… and they spill me and chase me away…
This time they were nice and quiet, maybe because they had already been cut and put together in small bouquets, so I could look at them with curiosity. There were many chrysanthemums, because it had just been All Souls’ Day, and then lilies, little roses, sunflowers and many many orchids. I even saw some little cabbages, that I thought you could only eat in a soup. They had beautiful colors, with white, green and violet shades… Mummy bought some and put them in a vase, and they looked beautiful, much better than in a soup!”.
Just a round the corner
Just around the corner you will get to the smallest state of the world (44 hectares only) but with the greatest number of masterpieces: we are talking about the Vatican City of course. Starting from Andrea Doria road, you can walk along the walls fencing the Vatican Museums, a must of any visit to Rome, as well as is a must S.Pietro cathedral, the heart of Christianity. We suggest you stand in the middle of the square, exactly on one of the two marble disks between the twin fountains and the obelisk basis: you will recognize them from the inscription CENTRO DEL COLONNATO (center of the columnade). Well, once your foot are on one of those circles, you will have to admit the architectural genius of Bernini: from that spot, the two monumental half circles embracing all the faithfuls praying in the square since 400 years, will seem as a unique line, instead of four as they are in reality.
Walking up Conciliazione road towards Tevere, we suggest two tipically Roman stops. For the first one, you’ll have to turn left in Campanile little road: at number 4 (ma altre fonti sostengono fosse al numero 2) used to live one of the most known characters (unfortunately), but some other sources say it was at number 2. It’s the house of MASTRO TITTA, the executioner of Rome. In his career at the service of the Popes, Giovanni Battista Bugatti (this is his real name) executed more than 500 sentences, between 1796 and 1864, in the whole Papal State territory. Lord Byron and Charles Dickens wrote about him, on top of Belli in his sonnets. Despite his role, the character of Mastro Titta is for many Romans a good natured one, also thanks to the theatre and movies interpretations by Aldo Fabrizi and Paolo Stoppa. The red cloak used by Mastro Titta on the scaffold is still conserved at the Criminal Museum of Rome, in Giulia road.
lMoving along Conciliazione road, but slightly diverting to the right, towards Borgo S.Spirito, you get to the compound of S.Spirito hospital. In the court of Commendatore (the chief of the hospital) Palace look up at a strange clock with a cardinal hat. Inside, you will notice a lizard acting as clock hand and the face split in six hours, instead of twelve. It’s the traditional face of the ROMAN CLOCK, abandoned at the time of pope Pio IX, who imposed the French system, still in force today. Another peculiar feature of S. Spirito compound is the EXPOSED WHEEL, the first appeared in Italy: it’s a turning wooden wheel – requested by Pope Innocenzo III in 1198 – where unwanted new born babies could be left, so that they could be looked after by the hospital instead of being abandoned in the street or thrown in Tevere river.
|where||via trionfale 45|
|open||open to the public only on Tuesdays, h 10:30 – 13:00|
|metro||Line A – Ottaviano, walking distance 500 mt|
|AUTOBUS||From Termini, Argentina, Cavour, Line 23 or 70|