Condottieri / Labicano market

arianna copertinaicona-abbigliamento

icona-alimentareAn open air market which tries to put together the ‘classic soul’ (fruit and vegetable stalls, fish mongers, butcheries) with new proposals: a stall of accessories for cakes, kids wear, fresh made pasta, gifts and a ladies hairdresser. Despite some vendors ‘historical’, the market as we know it today has only existed for a decade, with the sixty stalls offering a wide range for a complete shopping. 

A walk through the stalls


“My stall is sixty years old, it was my father’s – says Fabio, who runs a butchery with his wife Luciana – I have been working here for 38 years, but even before I used to wake up at three in the morning, come to the stall, then go to school and come back to the market later in the day. The new facility is nice, but certainly the warmth of the old market with carts ... that is lost forever. The memories I have of my father are not playing together, but going from one stable to another, to pick and buy the animals”.
Fabio today sells selected meat, from farmers who treat animals as little as possible, but since no long ago he used to sell beasts raised by his family, pigs and lambs from the area of ​​Norcia.
Stefano has the same problem with his fruit and vegetable stall. “Today, we bring to the market only the wine we sell at 1€ per liter from our farm in Sabaudia, while when my dad was still alive, he was coming to the market, while I used to work in the farm and we would sell everything of our own production”.

14But even today shopping at Condottieri market gives big satisfaction: there are Patrizia & Piera’s frozen foods, Doriana’s bakery, the Daniele’s pets’ store (which also supports a project in Pigneto aimed at opening to a little park where our four-legged friends can run freely), Massimo’s flowers stall, Mirco & Lara’s baby wear, Caterina’s haberdashery where she also makes minor repairs, groceries, delis and household stalls.
Among the newcomers, Arianna has combined her passion for sweets and the opportunity of a stall, which she obtained by a request made just for fun. “I am a kindergarten educator, but my dream is to become a pastry chef, so I did an internship and I learned professional pastry. In every day’s life I had a hard time finding the right tools to make my creations so I thought it could this would be useful also for other housewives”. In September last year she opened ‘Ma Douce’ to offer tools to decorate cakes, trays, molds to make muffins and cupcakes, all other types of  mold for traditional recipes, such as ‘colomba’ (literally, dove, traditional Easter cake) and ‘panettone’ (typical Christmas cake).

“My customers are mixed, some just get curious while grocery shopping at the market, others know me by word of mouth. Then I hold some pastry classes in in a library nearby and my students often come to get all the equipment they need”.
And she's not the only one with original ideas. Caterina, originally from Romania, tells us: “My husband and I have this haberdashery and we cannot complain, there are still some women who sew. But my husband has also another project: he would like to open a (roasting) coffee shop here at the market. There is already a bar, but there is not a place for fresh ground coffee to be taken home and we think it would work!”.

Alice’s wonderland

“I hate supermarkets, can stand shops, but I looove markets!
Sometimes I can make some exceptions. With supermarkets never, the only thing I can stand are carts. With shops it depends. Sometimes they don’t even seem real shops… I love those, almost as much as markets. One day long ago, when I was still a very little girl, I was going to Condottieri market with Mummy. It was a beautiful spring morning and we had been wandering around since a while. At one point I felt like a huge hole in my stomach and I began to complain. At the time I didn’t not talk this much, so the only thing I could do to make my way was crying.
But luckily Mummy knew right away and there was this beautiful place on our way. At the beginning, I did not understand why it's called 'Il giardino incartato' (literally, the wrapped garden) and I expected it to be a park or something like that, but when we got in I realized it was a library. Actually, not just any library, but a special place.
They gave Mummy a nice comfortable chair to breast feed me and I was so hungry that I just threw myself on the milk, but then I started to look around ... and there were so many colorful books, funny wooden toys, stickers of all shapes, hairpins, bracelets, cloth bags, puppets and a blackboard full of drawings. At some point Mummy also wanted to change me and the nice lady at the library said: “We are all moms, no problem”. She pulled out a sort of small beach mat, just the right size for me, and put it inside a small wooden house where Mummy changed my diaper. At some point we had to go, but I would have stayed there much longer. Now I can’t wait to be able to read and go back”. 

icone alice


Il giardino incartato is a place where you can buy not only books, but also albums, comics, games in wood, fabric or paper. Where you can do art, science or kitchen workshops, or enjoy a group reading while eating a snack. And then, in turn, no arguing, have a ride on a rocking chair.

icone-ricettaALICE16 ALICE’S RECIPE

Chocolate muffins

Arianna from ‘Ma douce’ gave us this recipe
Beat two eggs with 180 grams of confectioner’s sugar, 120 grams of melted butter, 200 milliliters of milk, 300 grams of flour and half a bag of baking powder. Add a few spoons of bitter cocoa (according to your preferences), a small fial of rum (not alcoholic) and pour into muffin molds. Sprinkle brown sugar all over and let them cook in static oven (not fan) for approximately half an hour at 170/180°.

Just around the corner

Pigneto is one of many cities within the city that Rome offers to those who want to get to know it in depth. A small village with a distinct identity, with its low houses, its pedestrian islands, and a strong sense of community that crosses it. Even now that it’s very trendy, the district has managed to keep its proletarian soul. In this triangle of roads between Casilina and Prenestina, used to live the workers employed in the plants of what was once an important industrial area of Rome. Here were the first tram depot (first on horseback, then electric) in the city, the buildings of the Snia Viscosa (now occupied by a lively social center) and those of Pantanella, which once used to be the first industrial pasta factory in Europe, now converted into offices and private apartments.
A working class spirit, and also fiercely anti-fascist, forged by bombings in 1943 and kept alive by several cultural initiatives: the most important, the “Path of Remembrance”, which recalls the neighborhood residents deported to Mauthausen or killed at the Fosse Ardeatine. Irony (and revenge) of taxonomy, one of the roads through which the path goes, currently Fortebraccio road, in the Twenties was named after Benito Mussolini. But there is a third spirit that hovers in Pigneto streets and merges with the others: it’s that of the cinema.

Therefore, we cannot NOT mention a place that perhaps more than others is the beating heart of the neighborhood, BAR NECCI in via Fanfulla da Lodi. Founded in 1924 by Enrico – who died in '43 under the Anglo-American bombs – it has later become the preferred ‘hangout’ destination of Pier Paolo Pasolini and anointed by his debut as a director: “Accattone” (tramp). Between April and July 1961, the streets around Necci were used as a set for the adventures of these “hustlers”, while the walls of the bar were transformed in a casting office: it’s here where Pasolini chose the actors – all taken from the street – for his movie.
But the real “debut” of Pigneto dates back to 1945, when, besides the war still in progress, Roberto Rossellini directed one of his masterpieces: “Roma Città Aperta” (Rome Open City). And the most famous scene of the film – and one of the most famous and exciting in the history of Italian cinema – takes place in VIA RAIMONDO MONTECUCCOLI. It’s on this pavement, where the working-class Pina, played by an unforgettable Anna Magnani, is killed by a burst of machine gun while chasing the Nazis truck that is taking away her husband, after a raid. In Montecuccoli road (unfortunately back in the spotlight in 2003 for the discovery of a hideout of the new Red Brigades, responsible for the murders of the labor lawyers Massimo D'Antona and Marco Biagi) seems to have lived in the 60s also Lucio Battisti, who in “Pensieri e parole” (thoughts and words) used to sing about the “whole world closed in a road” and a “cinema in the suburbs”. We have read it on the web site of Nuovo Cinema Aquila, which could be exactly the cinema mentioned by Battisti. Now a theater confiscated to racquet in 1998 and completely renovated by a cooperative who has initiated – among others initiatives – the morning shows dedicated to newly Moms and their babies.

On top of this, in the neighborhood there are many attentions, and attractions, for children. Among others, the MUSEO DELLA MEMORIA GIOCOSA (Museum of playing memory), also known as Historical Museum of Toys and Games of the Twentieth century. In the 300 square meters of this building in Via Vincenzo Coronelli, you can find over 2,500 toys, which were built between 1920 and 1960.
Each of them could tell endless stories, let’s just remember the story of the father of this real ‘toysland’, Fritz Billig Hoenisberg. A Viennese Jew forced to flee to New York at the advent of Nazism, Billig succeeded in bringing his toys collection. And he kept on nourishing this passion on the other side of the ocean, not only for his playful spirit, but also driven by a profound ideal motivation that he used to sum up with the motto: “When they play, all the world's children are equal”. At his death, the baton was passed to his daughter, Lisa, who with her husband Franco Palmieri, opened the museum in 1979, the only one of its kind in Rome. Walking among models, comics and vintage dolls is like taking a trip throughout the Twentieth century. As far as the mean of transport is concerned, you can make your choice: from perfect modeling cars to a faithful reproduction of the Hindenburg airship, to one of the best pieces of the whole collection: a rail landscape of 25 square meters in 1:43 scale, made in 1937 .

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DOVE via Alberto da Giussano
GIORNI DI APERTURA lunedì - sabato
ORARIO 6.00 - 14.00 (alcuni banchi sono aperti anche il pomeriggio del venerdì)
PARCHEGGIO strisce bianche intorno al mercato
AUTOBUS dalla stazione Termini, Linea 5 o 14
where via Alberto da Giussano
open Monday – Saturday, h 6:00/14:00 (some stalls are open also on Friday afternoon)
PARking White lines
BUS from Termini Station, Line 5 or 14