Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reflections on a Walk through the Markets of Rome

As a tourist to Rome, you may focus on the big sites. I am sure you want to visit the Vatican City and see Saint Peter's and the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. But what makes Italy different from other cities? The history is great, but learn about the culture.

By walking through the morning markets in Rome, you will see an Italian housewife buying groceries for the day and the Italian businessman buying fruit on his way to work. You are guaranteed a struggle between your limited Italian skills and the complete lack of English of the vendors. One thing I was the most sorry about of my time in Rome was the little Italian I picked up in the end. Force yourself to learn some by shopping in morning markets.

The market in Testaccio and the market in the Campo de'Fiori offer perfect chances. You can also find some great deals on jewelry and clothes. Take the time out of site seeing from the normal tourist spots and visit these markets which are off the between path. You will not be sorry.

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