I truly dislike Termini Station.
If getting somewhere requires me to pass through Termini (currently the only point in Rome where metro lines cross), then I will seriously consider not going.
There is plenty of pushing, a good deal of grime, and a healthy pack of pickpockets working the platforms of Rome’s main train station.
So when I saw signs that they were opening a “terrace” for a “central market,” I laughed.
Who in their right mind would open a central market at Termini? The train station is a place I try to get in and out of as quickly as possible, so it seems to defy logic to ask people to linger around.
However, the team behind Florence’s Mercato Centrale (which is located at, you guessed it, a market), has pulled together an impressive line-up of Rome’s best food producers to open Mercato Centrale Roma.
Much of the market is located in what was previously a piano store – and I think we can all agree that a food market offers something more to visitors and locals alike who have to pass through the main train station.
The 1930s architecture is well showcased by the market’s new design, but it is the food that shines through.
The producers that they have attracted to the Mercato Centrale are some of my favorites in Rome.
Here you will find Gabriele Bonci, baker of Pizzarium fame – my favorite pizza in Rome. Not having to go to Cipro for his pizza might be what wins me over.
For meats, butcher Roberto Liberati has opened a stall full of salami and sausages.
Trapizzino? They are here too! Pizza bianca filled with slow cooked goodness is always going to be worth a moment of your time between trains.
Oh, and Beppe of Beppe e i suoi formaggi? Yes. Yes. Yes. All the cheese. THERE IS SO MUCH CHEESE.
Fish? I will probably not be buying that at Termini, but I do think that the addition of ready-to-go meals is a huge win.
While it is difficult to judge any place on opening night, the best thing we ate was the ravioli caprese from Oliver Glowig. Insanely good – and if they can make that well for 1,000 people, I have high hopes that it will stay amazing day-to-day.
Previously the best place to get something comparable nearby was at Eataly, so the new marketplace that is open from 7 am to 12 am every day is a welcome relief.
I still hate Termini, but the quality of the food that has been gathered under one roof at Mercato Centrale Roma is impressive.
If you want a more traditional Roman experience, walk down the street to Esquilino Market.
However, Rome’s new central market – its blend of modern delights and top quality products- is a great option when you have a limited amount of time in Rome. (Or if you are looking to pass the time with a glass of wine during a train delay).
Mercato Centrale Roma
Via Giolitti, 36
Open: Every day from 7 am to 12 am