If you are visiting Roma and if you love authentic and local italian food you shouldn’t miss the Mercato Circo Massimo. Open on Saturdays and Sundays, located in the center of Roma, in the splendid building which was once the old Jewish fish market, near Via dei Cerchi. It is next my other discovery of this trip, Cristalli di Zucchero. Caffe’ and cappuccino, first, with Camille (Gustiamo’s food reporter – see here her posts), Zac (Camille’s boyfriend and official photographer of her culinary adventures with Gustiamo) and Pietro (third from left in the picture). Pietro works with Coldiretti, the sponsor of this Mercato and knows everything about good authentic foods. How can I be so sure? Pietro had the best training, having worked part time with Gustiamo for four years, before. Pietro is always there and when you go to the Mercato, make sure you say hello!
Roberto Vinci is the infaticable Direttore of the Mercato and explained to me that only the farmers from Lazio can display and sell their products at the Mercato and their selection is based on best quality and practices. From 20 farmers, when the Mercato first opened last October, now there are 50, all grateful to have an outlet in the center of Roma. They are proud of their hard work and willing to tell you everything about their products. Roberto also told me that, in the average, 5,000 people (romani, but also many foreigners) visit the Mercato every week end, spending an average of 30 Euros. Prices at the Mercato are kept lower than other food markets. Therefore, everybody wins and when you go, you see all smiling faces. What a pleasure!
At the Mercato you can find everything you need: bread, honey, meat, unpasturized milk, the wonderful Pecorino Romano, the freshest vegetables, grains and legumes, salumi, flowers and… EV Olive Oil from Lazio. Flaminio D’Urso makes Itranello, an EV Olive Oil monocultivar Itrana, a local olive from Lazio which will soon receive the DOP status. He also cures Itrana olives and when these are picked ripe and dark, they become the famous Olive di Gaeta. Flaminio gave me a bottle of Oil and a jar of olives to bring to NY. If you go to the Mercato, go to Flaminio, taste his olive oil and let me know if you like it as much as I do.