Rome is a city with proud and strict food traditions. The “mavericks” of Rome are trying to break those traditions, or at least update them a little. A great blending of the old and the new can be found at Il Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio. It has as been around for about seven years now (very new by Roman standards) and mixes very, very traditional street foods with burgers and sushi for the truly avant-garde.

Like so much in Rome, markets in Testaccio have existed since ancient times. In this port area along the river, supplies were sold to ships and sailors before they set sail. Then comes the new…more than 50 food stalls with wonderful street foods that resurrect old traditions, like tripe or stewed brisket panini, to American burgers to soups to healthy juice bars.

It is not like walking the mall food court here. The people in Rome bring with them a very high expectation for flavor and quality that make the products superior.

Romans have embraced the Testaccio concept, both old and new. It is well worth a walk along the river to go there. Eat wonderful foods at budget prices. See the amazing offerings of fruits, vegetable, meats and fish that comprise the Roman diet. Maybe even buy a purse at the leather stall. It’s fun and different and a glimpse of real Rome.