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Jul 5, 2009 02:34 AM

Help¿ Worth going to Rome in August?

We have the possibility of doing an apartment exchange in Rome from August 15 - 22 and I need to decide whether it's worth it. No qualms about the lovely apartment in Trastevere.

The question is about food!
Are there any good produce markets open in mid-August? Is Campo dei Fiori market nearly empty ?
Are all the decent bakeries and delis closed for the month?
We don't need to eat out a lot but want to be able to get good produce, good cheese and deli products and good pizza bianca.
Not to mention espresso!
Please help me decide whether to go or not.
Thank you!

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  1. mbfant, who lives in Rome, would be better able to answer, but as I understand it, Rome no longer comes to a grinding halt in August. Many restaurants will be closed that week, but the markets will certainly be open, perhaps with a reduced number of stalls.

    If you're staying in Trastevere, there is a less touristy market in Piazza San Cosimato and a larger one in Testaccio across the river.

    1. We are also heading to Rome in August, and similarly wonder if various markets - and restaurants - will be open. But, that's when we can get away so off we go.

      On the food front, what is seasonal and local for August? Fruit, I imagine. But for food stuffs what takes the place of those delicious artichokes and mushrooms and the like? Are there some summer pastas or other grilled items that are best in the summer? Any restaurant that might specialize ins some of these seasonal dishes? Grazie.

      2 Replies
      1. re: comiendosiempre

        There's a list here - in Italian but with pictures - of fruits and vegetables in season every month of the year:

        Any restaurant worth its salt will offer seasonal dishes. If not listed specifically, I'd ask for roasted peppers.

        1. re: comiendosiempre

          We'll be in Rome in August as well - arriving Aug. 25th. We've been assured that they no longer shut down during August, that it'll be lively enough.

        2. Not to worry. Zerlina said it all, including the recommendation of the S. Cosimato market. The markets will be open, though reduced. Most grocery stores and bars will be open for half the month. Neighborhoods by law cannot be left high and dry so shops are supposed to not all choose the same half. The days right around the 15th are the only really dicey period because businesses might take unannounced extra days. Volpetti usually stays open the whole month. Supermarkets will be open for emergencies.
          I myself plan to be here most of August and will post news of open restaurants, assuming I have any, and hope others will do the same.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mbfant

            Thank you Zerlina and mbfant! I live in Barcelona, and our neighborhood does come to a grinding halt in August. The supermarkets stay open but the market stalls and the delis and the coffee bars and the butchers all close for the month.
            The only thing crazier than visiting Rome in August may be visiting Barcelona. But it's hard to turn down a one-week exchange in a nice apartment in Trastevere as long as we can scrounge up some good Italian ingredients and fresh vegetables. With your encouragement, we will forage at San Cosimato and in Testaccio. Thank you!

            1. re: mbfant

              We will arrive in Rome Aug 23 & stay 2 nights- then we are on to Siena & Florence to explore the vineyards of Tuscany. Many of your restaurant recommendations mentioned elsewhere such as Al ceppo indicate on their websites that they will be closed. Do you know any specific places that you like that will be open? We has terrible meals on our last Roman holiday and would like to change our opinion. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

            2. Thank you to all. We will head to San Cosimato and look for open restaurants. We will be there at the every end of August so, perhaps places will be re-opening, or really closed . . . .

              If tomatoes are in season we are all set. We can eat those forever and actually made a great penne with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and good parmesan last night. It is a terrific summer dish, and we make it well. Yet, I am thinking, however, that I will find better in Rome . . .

              3 Replies
              1. re: comiendosiempre

                Aren't you staying in a hotel? In Parioli?

                If you're going to be in Trastevere anyway, you might as well look at the San Cosimato market, but I hardly think it's worth going there specially. There's a mercato rionale on Via Locchi in Parioli, according to the City of Rome. Even the huge new covered market of Trionfale on Via Andrea Doria (north of the Vatican) is closer.

                1. re: zerlina

                  Yes, we will be in Parioli. I did not know there is a new market on Via Andrea Doria. We will want to buy some items to eat but also just to see the produce and stroll. In NYC a trip to the farmer's market is a near weekly event for us.

                  1. re: comiendosiempre

                    The Trionfale market on Andrea Doria is my market and they *DO* close for 2 weeks in August (around the 14th), some stalls even close for 3 weeks.