Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nothing gold can stay...

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic with that title but I am genuinely bummed out about what’s happened to my beloved Farmers’ Market in Garbatella. Backstory: In March 2013, the market was moved from its convenient (for me, at least) Testaccio location to the current Garbatella venue. That in itself was a bit traumatic for me, as it would now take me 45-60 minutes to get there by transpo, BUT my love for this market was great enough for me to overcome that hurdle. And week after week, I schlepped myself and my granny shopping cart there.

Just this month however, I discovered that some of my favorite vendors are no longer part of the market: Giulio Pace who sold to-die-for spelt bread; the man (whose name I don’t know but he had impressively ornate sideburns/facial hair) who sold drool-inducing cheese that people would wait in line forever for; the chatty lady who sold jams and honey; the rosy-cheeked organic produce vendor who sold hard-to-find butternut squash amongst other things (he still has a stand at the Via di San Teodoro market and I discovered he has a shop too!); and a few others.
Apparently when the city (or whoever runs this market, it’s not very clear to me) first decided to create this market, it was viewed as a trial run, so they didn't ask vendors to pay rent. Cut to September 2014, they realized the market was profitable and now wanted to be paid rent. Seems fair enough to me but some vendors didn’t want to pay for some reason or another, so they left. As for my spelt-bread man, he was actually from L'Aquila in Abruzzo, and at the start was allowed to partake in the market (which is strictly for Lazio producers) only because they wanted to help out his company after the devastating earthquake. But I guess the city no longer deems that necessary so they tossed him out. And so, yet again, Rome has managed to ruin what was once a perfect setup...

I wouldn't want this to come across as a gloom & doom post so I must point out that a handful of the vendors from this market- including my absolute favorite produce dealer Leopoldo Antonetti & family and the lovely lady who sells potatoes/Asian pears/etc. from Azienda agricola Provvedi Alessandro - have opened up a shop in Trastevere where you can find the same products (and more!!) on sale EVERY DAY... well, except for Monday.

La Bottega di Campagna Amica di Trastevere
Via Bernardino Passeri, 6/8
cell: +39 339-5214733
closed Mon
Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat 8:00- 20:00
Sun 8:00- 14:00
(I'd suggest calling to double-check the hours on holidays and during the month of August)