/Mercato Trionfale Offers Great Food, Atmosphere Near the Vatican

Mercato Trionfale Offers Great Food, Atmosphere Near the Vatican

Today’s guest post comes from Jillian Wertheim, a UC Berkeley student currently studying abroad in Rome, a senior staff writer for The Daily Californian, and new Parla Food intern. I thought it would be fun to have a fresh perspective on eating, drinking, and shopping for food in Rome and Jillian will be scouring the city for authentic culinary experiences for the next few months. Her first in a series of guest posts recounts a recent outing to Mercato Trionfale, one of my favorite markets in town:

“Waking up to an empty refrigerator is no way to start the weekend. And so, armed with 20 euro and a canvas bag, I left my Trastevere apartment and strolled upriver for a morning of shopping at the Mercato Trionfale. Blue signs pointed the way — an unexpected surprise, as I’ve grown accustomed to tacking on a solid 15 minutes of “getting lost time” to most of my Roman adventures — and it wasn’t long until I had passed Saint Peter’s and found myself at the market’s entrance.

Mercato Trionfale often goes unmentioned in travel books and tourist manifestos, perhaps because it is so new in publishing terms or because it appeals mainly to locals. This is where the nonnas, families, LUMSA students and other residents of the Prati district pick up their raw materials for the week’s meals.

Formerly an open-air affair taking up the entirety of Via Andrea Doria, Mercato Trionfale has since moved indoors, but has maintained its impressive number of vendors. More than 270 stands line the building that the market now calls home, and the vast array of meats, produce, cheeses, wine, and spices is nothing short of staggering. The divisions of the food pyramid mix and mingle, here — a cluster of macellerie is broken up by a stand selling assorted household goods, from body lotion to juicers, and booths offering fresh pastries punctuate the rows of vendors.

It’s never a good idea to shop for food when you’re hungry, so I bought myself a slice of zucchini pizza, and munched on the salty goodness of toasted vegetables, melted cheese and crust as I meandered into the labyrinth of Trionfale. Heaps of artichokes and Sicilian citrus tempted me at every turn.

I was still reveling in the glory of my newly acquired Sicilian oranges (four for €1.20), when I met Manfredo of Fiorin Pasta. Artisan pastas are a time-honored tradition for Manfredo — his family has been handcrafting and selling their creations for more than 40 years. He recommended medaglioni with a buffalo ricotta and lemon zest filling (his personal favorite) and a traditional spinach-cheese ravioli, both of which sounded too delicious to pass up. I added an etto of each to my bag of treats and decided that any subsequent purchases would bring the weight of my groceries to an uncomfortably heavy level for the walk back home. Just as well, though — it was nearing closing time, anyway, and I’ll have plenty more opportunities to return to Trionfale and leave with more than I can carry.”

The Mercato Trionfale occupies a full city block on Via Andrea Doria between Via Tunisi and Via Santamaura. It is open Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Sat 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Tues & Fri 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Jillian Wertheim.

2017-02-17T15:19:41+00:00 March 2nd, 2012|Categories: Culture, Guest Post, Rome & Lazio|11 Comments


  1. mart March 5, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Like this ‘munched on the salty goodness of toasted vegetables, melted cheese ….’

    I wonder in the picture nxt to the Tortellini what are those? Big Ravioli?

  2. Jillian March 5, 2012 at 11:49 am - Reply

    @mart, those pastas are the “medaglioni” (medallions) I was admiring–the purple-ish ones are flavored with beet, the green with spinach, and I believe that both had a ricotta filling of sorts. Definitely worth a taste, next time you’re at Trionfale!

  3. Katie March 5, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

    @mart i like that line very much! those look like radicchio ravioli…ill ask jillian to weigh in

  4. mart March 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Thx Jilian, they look sublime. Like something from outer space. You probably don’t have any idea how they ar formed? All by hand? They look so neat, maybe I’m 2 sloppy for making big Ravioli. When (if ever) I’ll pass by, will surely try them. Envision someone with a burner and a pot of water in some square in Roma…etc.
    Actually a good idea, a restaurant where people can eat the semi prepared found in shops and markets.

  5. Sarah May March 8, 2012 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Mart, that IS a good idea. I always feel sad for my Culinary clients in a market. They can’t really buy any of the fresh stuff because they have nowhere to cook it. I have the same problem when I travel.

  6. Mart March 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Well for anyone wanting a different food experience, that is different from eating in a restaurant, check out this site, http://www.weeats.com/ Eating at someone’s house. I thought there is another initiative like this but here is one to start with.

  7. Passaguai, A Wine Bar in Prati April 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    […] waiting. This intimate wine café is a stone’s throw away from the Vatican and not far from the Mercato Trionfale. I arrived a little after 5 on a Friday evening—-early for aperitivo by most Roman […]

  8. […] long until I had passed Saint Peter’s and found myself at the market’s entrance.” Read More Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. from → […]

  9. Daily Recipes Ideas October 4, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    great for vatican people 🙂

  10. […] Mercato Trionfale Offers Great Food, Atmosphere Near Vatican – Parla Food […]

  11. […] Trionfale Market is two blocks north of the Vatican. It’s a place where you find farm-direct sales, fishmongers, […]

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