How to cook like an Italian

Campo de Fiori in Roma


Peppers are bunched together in a bouquet for sale

If you plan to go to Rome, you must stop by the Campo de Fiori before 1pm any day of the week. The Campo is hip any time of day, but during the morning, you will find their version of a Farmer’s Market. This is an especially good find if you have the opportunity to rent an apartment in Rome and cook while you are there. Otherwise, it’s just fun to stroll around anyway and see the unusual produce. Here are some of my photos from a recent trip to the market.


Beautiful garlic and chili peppers adorn this market stall. No vampires will ever touch this booth!


Long and luscious red grapes with seeds are sweet and pretty much the same as they are in America, but they have pointy ends.

Speaking of pointy ends, look at this funny looking brocolli! It’s grown in the Lazio region, which is where Rome is located so this is very local produce.


Here a man sells roasted chestnuts. This used to be popular in NYC but it is a rare sight these days. In Rome, however, you see these guys all over the place. The chestnuts are sweet and nutty and make a great snack to eat while strolling around the market.


If you need your spices, don’t fear because this man sells all kinds and even some combinations that make great blends.


There are all kinds of mushrooms in Italy, my favorite being the porcinis, which are not really grown in America, if at all. Dried porcinis can be purchased in America, but they just aren’t the same. There is nothing like a plate of spaghetti with freshly sauteed porcinis. The Fall is the season for this ‘shroom in Rome.


and look at how beautiful these berries are-blues, red raspberries and cherries are all popular in Italy, as they are in America.


These may look like tomatoes to you but they are red peppers that are short and stout and hail all the way from Sicily. You can tell this by the stem of the veggie.


and look at how beautiful these long squashes are-they look like geese peering over the edge of a boat.


and more gourds for the Fall…


and if it’s meat or fish you are after, they’ve got lots of both. There are some of the best sausages in the world here. You aren’t allowed to bring any back to the USA, so eat them while you can in Italy!




Pesce spada leftovers! Look out for the pointer!


But don’t forget to get your greens while on vacation. Too much meat, pasta and cheese might make you feel a little bloated after a few days!

Try these beans for variety:



So remember to check out this market next time you are in Rome and see how the local Italians shop!

4 Responses to “Campo de Fiori in Roma”

  1. Terry Mercede says:

    Rach: You are a girl after my own heart.When I was in Sciliy last year I purchased ,from the open air market , in Palermo, the tiniest dried red hot peppers. I found out they are great for all of my Italian dishes. I can’t find them in the USA. Can you help me locate some by mailorder or otherwise? Terry from Ct.

  2. Erin says:

    You can grow them yourself if you have a balcony or garden. Check out

  3. Barbara says:

    On Rachael’s Vacation show she mentioned that her favorite restaurant in the world is in Florence, Italy. I did not catch the name of the restaurant..does anyone know which one it was?

  4. susan ridolphi griffin says:

    ok, this is where I wanted to say thanks for the beautiful photos of the market in Rome. Everything is just so vivid there. Great memories, and great photos, Enjoyed them, Thanks, Susan

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