|Tables outside a bar - the only classic Rome bar - in the market|
We don't share their enthusiasm for the "beauty" of the market. We were shocked when, two years ago, we saw the "artist's conception" drawings, posted around the exterior, and we're still schocked: from the outside, Testaccio's new market, designed by architect Marco Rietti, is pretty much a big, flat, brown and white box. (You can see the artist's conception in RST's earlier post on the new market movement.)
|The space between the two boxes is, for now, |
|Interior, Magna Grecia market|
Many of the older markets have raised concerns about sanitation,
|Interior of the Trieste market, during an evening|
community meeting on the future of the market
Although the new markets are, in a sense, "public" markets, they have not been built with public funds. The markets at Triofale, Ponte Milvio, and Testaccio have all been
built with private money, in exchange for ownership of the complexes. That, at least, is what the newspapers say, and it more than implies that the markets are privately owned and operated--with consequences, we might add, as yet unforseen. The same could be said of the largest market of them all--the enormous Eataly complex in Ostiense.
|Abandoned biscotti in the old Testaccio market|
The old Testaccio market was a combination of the two kinds noted above: a collection of metal shacks, old enough that large trees had in some cases grown around and through the metal, but contained within a building, probably dating to the 1940s. When we visited the old market (the day after the new one opened), it was, of course, abandoned.
|A tree inside the old market|
|Residents of via Mannuzio register their concerns|
about stands on their street
|Swordfish for sale|
The market's administrators have grouped the merchants, with fruit and vegetable vendors occupying one area, fish and meat vendors another, and sellers of general goods--household supplies, shoes, women's apparel--at one end.
|Marcello Mastroianni once shopped at this store--when|
it was in Testaccio's old market
|A small group tour--in English|
|Ancient ruins found under the market|
In short, we wish the market's exterior wasn't quite so stark, so unyieldingly separate from the surrounding buildings. But we applaud a straightforward interior design that in some basic way suggests the old market.
|RST is not fond of the exterior of the structure, but it doesn't look so bad from this angle|