Salario market was once made up of fixed slots and removable stalls that occupied the whole Metauro street, from Salaria road to Regina Margherita avenue. Today, the number of vendors has dramatically decreased and every morning they open their stall on the first part of Metauro street and just part of Simeto road.
A walk through the stalls
As far as food is concerned, there are no more fishmongers, butchers, grocers but just fruit and vegetables stalls, while for non-food there is actually a lot of choice among underwear and clothes, shoes and scarves, jewelry and household goods, even a little cashmere stall at affordable price and children's clothing.
For years they have been talking of a move, opposed by the vendors themselves: “Rumors say they want to send us to a narrow street, with tall trees, totally inadequate or to another place not equipped, but it’s not clear where – complains Francesco, a fruit and vegetable stall raised just in front of a place that works as warehouse, which would not be available in case of move.
Among other fruit and vegetable stalls, there is Beatrice’s who comes every day from Mentana, Fonte Nuova with her son Max and her husband Angelo to bring peasant herbs such as dandelion, caccialepre, borage, wild chicory.
“My husband goes out with a basket and a small knife because we live in the countryside and then I prepare my salads, fresh, seasonal, depending on what is available in the fields and adding up our own garden’s products”. Oh yes, because at Mrs Beatrice’s stall you can find different varieties of salads already mixed, washed and clean, which only need dressing. And there are also her own chickens’ eggs, olives prepared by her, as well her garden’s flowers. Beatrice and her family arrive at five in the morning to set up their stall, which is so rich and colorful. “When I got the stall I was 27 years old – says Beatrice – but I was working at the market in Via Gregorio VII, while my mother Ida was here, then twelve years ago I took over her license for my son Massimiliano. And just next to ours, there is my sister’s stall, it's all within the family”.
Among the curiosities of Salario market there is also Marco’s used books stall, but unfortunately he has not succeeded in getting an official license yet. “I am not authorized to sell books. I used to deal with music before, but it’s a few years now I buy and sell used books. I have already tried to apply for a license several times, but still I didn’t get one”.
“My favorite fairy tale is Rapunzel. I want to hear it every single night, read by Mummy, Daddy, my grandparents, friends, whoever is fine as long as they read me Rapunzel. Sometimes I even have it read in the morning as soon as I wake up. It’s the story of a woodcutter and his wife (“sooo nice but also a little silly”) who were expecting a baby, which comes out to be a girl, but you couldn’t know it in advance in those times! During pregnancy the wife was craving for a rapunzel plant and the husband (“silly himself”) instead of going to the market and buy it, breaks into the garden of an enchantress and steals it. So the enchantress takes them the baby as soon as she’s born. She names the girl Rapunzel, let her hair grow very long and shut her in a tower in the middle of the woods, with only one little window from which she had to let her plaits down as a rope. Finally a prince arrives and after several trials and obstacles they live happily forever and ever.
When I went to Salario market, I saw Beatrice’s beautiful stall with a lot of salads, flowers and vegetables and right there in the middle a plant of bright red radish. I wonder if Beatrice is the enchantress of the tale. But she seemed too nice and smiling so I said no. Anyway, I don’t think I’ll eat the radish… you never know.”
Just around the corner
Literally just around the corner of Metauro road, you will enter in the fabulous (and here the adjective is also to be understood in its literal meaning) COPPEDE ' DISTRICT, a complex of buildings named after the Florentine architect who in 1915 began to build this magical corner of Rome. So magical and mysterious that the horror director Dario Argento has used it as location for many of his movies. The reason is easy to understand even visiting the neighborhood by day: you should do it coming from the arch that opens in via Tagliamento (the road of the Piper, historical club where the Italian beat was launched in the '60s, with singers such as Patty Pravo and Renato Zero), a perfect introduction to the fantastic world you are about to come cross. Once inside, you don’t need any more advice, just stroll about holding your nose up and your eyes open, ready to seize the thousands of amazing details, quotes and symbols that you will find all over the buildings.
Let’s stay in Coppedé neighborhood and let’s continue our tour in the “fabulous” ‘60s, which are often mentioned with a nostalgic gaze or sigh. One of the most popular symbols of those years, usually remembered as a time of lightheartedness especially if thinking about the following ‘years of lead’ (Italian period of political turmoil, 1970s to early 1980s), is the PIPER club in Tagliamento street. Officially opened in 1965, it has then become home to all those who wanted to import in Italy the sound that was having so much success in UK and all those young people who were imitating the “swinging London” style. So the “Italian beat” started off at Piper’s, with bands as Equipe 84, Pooh, Le Orme, New Trolls, Dik Dik. And also, from this stage took off the one later called “Piper’s girl”, Patty Pravo; and in the same place started Renato Zero’s irresistible transgressions. On the other hand, if the traditionalists accused them of parroting the Anglo-Saxon style, you cannot deny the Piper’s artists had good teachers: thanks to the Tagliamento road club, few lucky ones can boast of having seen ‘live’ real stars as the Byrds and Procol Harum, and then still young and not yet so popular groups as the Genesis and Pink Floyd. Therefore, although today the club has not the same glamour of the past, the ones who grew up listening to the rhythm of its beat cannot keep from paying it a tribute with a short, nostalgic pilgrimage.
Monday – Saturday, h 7:00 – 14:00
|PARking||difficult on week days, easier on Saturday|
from Termini Railways Station, Line 360
Line B, Policlinico