By the time I get home from work, the market in Testaccio has been closed for hours.
“New” by location only, Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio is a traditional market that is normally only open in the mornings and early afternoon (until about 2 pm).
But increasingly, Mercato Testaccio is hosting Open Days. (In fact, they have announced all of their planned Open Days for 2018 and I have added the dates at the end).
Open “days” are really about open nights. The market stalls run continuously from 8 am to 12:30 am.
The fruit and vegetable stands generally stick to their regular hours and still close around 1 or 2 pm. However, the street food stalls, wine shops, and the butchers remain open until the wee hours of the morning.
You can order a glass of wine and wander through this after-hours market.
Buy meat from the butcher.
And have your dinner grilled to order.
There are several cuts of meat available, but the most popular snack is an order of arrosticini (a specialty from Abruzzo which is almost always small skewers of lamb).
Some butchers make special dishes for the night so I recommend hunting down the polpette agli agrumi (meatballs with citrus), which I have no photos of because I ate them so quickly.
In addition to food and drinks, there is also usually a live band or a DJ depending on the time of night, and people turn the central area near the coffee bar into a makeshift dance floor. During the day, there also often activities for children.
The 2018 dates for Open Day at the Testaccio Market are:
June 9, 2018
July 7, 2018
None in August
September 15, 2018
October 6, 2018
October 31, 2018 for Halloween
Other entertainment includes live music from 8 pm.
By booking ahead, you can also visit the scavi (archeological site) under the market all day Saturday. Call 3382845622 for more information and to reserve.
See you there!