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Mercato Rionale Monti – Artichokes and Amici

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 | 12 comments

On via Baccina in Monti there is a huge structure that was one probably bustling with market vendors. Unfortunately the market is mostly empty now except for a butcher and one fruit and vegetable stand. I went with my friend P the other day while she bought oranges, so I could try out my new 24 mm lens. The bottom two photos are from that day. The owner of the stand saw my camera and immediately pulled together a little “display” of broccolo romano for me the shoot and told me how he is also a photographer with a darkroom at home. It turns out that even though he now lives out by Ciampino, he once lived in the same area of town where I now live. I mentioned the blog and told him I’d be back to take more photos.

I went by this morning and he immediately put together this amazing display of artichokes (carciofi) for me. After I took a few snaps he told me to wait a minute and he returned with a watering can so he could wet the artichokes to make them look even better! Of course I had to take his photo as well, which you will see posted and he should be checking this evening to see the results. Ciao! I’ll go back again and we’ll do another photo shoot, perhaps this time with pineapples as he suggested. It’s such a shame there aren’t more vendors in the market, I guess it speaks to the gentrification of the neighborhood unfortunately. Residents do their daily shopping in markets like this because this is where you find the freshest and best ingredients, not at the grocery store. As fewer residents around, the fewer markets needed.

Just a word on artichokes in Rome. If you don’t know already, Rome is quite famous for them and I’m a big fan. Even though I didn’t eat them much in the US, I still remember when I discovered pizza with artichokes while in Padova and memorized carciofi as my new Italian vocabulary word, which quite impressed my Italian friends in London.


  1. Those artichokes are spectacular! Lord, I wish I were back in Rome right now. Well, anytime, really.

  2. Your pictures are fabulous. I miss that mercato so much!

  3. Looks so delicious,looking forward to more fruit and veggie pictures-you know how I love them. Hope he stays in business.

  4. Oh my god artichokes.. Rome is the city of artichokes… you can find them cooked im any ways… a lot of receipts… and i terribly hate them… i suffer a lot!

    the only thing i like about them is the pic you took šŸ˜‰

  5. I love artichokes! Carciofini is my favourite kind of pizza. Great photos – I especially like the second one.

  6. The artichokes look delicious! I love artichokes, steamed with a garlic clove, a turkish bay leaf, and a table spoon of white vinegar. They’re still out of season here so everything we get is crap in the stores.

  7. Hi Sean – Thanks for the comment. The artichokes will be waiting for you when you arrive! šŸ˜‰

    Miss Expatria – I saw the guy from the market this afternoon and he was like “did you post those photos yet?”

    Nonna – I doubt they’re going anywhere, they’ve been there forever and have a clientele. When the season changes more I’ll do another.

    3mendo – You don’t like artichokes! Sei il primo italiano k ho mai conosciuto k non gli piacciono i carciofi!

    Liz – Thanks for the comment and checking out the blog. They’re also great in salads.

    Snap – Delicious sounding recipe!

  8. Ha! Jess, to funny!! Did everyone post about artichokes yesterday????

    I am looking forward to visiting that area and to the artichokes if they are still around when I visit in May- though it is doubtful they will still be in season šŸ™

  9. Hi Robin, funny right? It’s just the start of the season here, they should still be around in May I think. If I’m remembering right, they’re a spring veggie.

  10. bella photos. I really need to learn how to cook them.

    Back in the States I used to buy the hearts and used them in various recipes.

    I think they also make a nice centerpiece.

  11. that photo of the artichokes is beautiful! california is full of artichokes this time of year, too.

  12. Sarah! Thank you my friend for commenting. You’ll have to make something with artichokes and put it on your blog as well.

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