A demolition team has begun pulling down Testaccio's old open air food market in Piazza Testaccio, following its relocation to nearby modern premises. This could be the final chapter in the story of the Testaccio landmark founded in the 1920s.
A controversial €800,000 regeneration project is planned for the area with new trees and the "Fontana delle Anfore” – moved a few streets away to Piazza dell'Emporio in 1935 – will be returned its original site. Locals voted against the provision of gates around the revamped square but should the need arise because of anti-social behaviour at night they will be installed.
The new covered market, which has been ready for several years, comprises 5,000 sqm and is open on all four sides. It is located close to the old slaughterhouse – which has now been turned into a museum complex (MACRO) – between Via Alessandro Volta, Via Galvani, Via Ghiberti and Via Beniamino Franklin. Most of the old stallholders are reluctant to make the move and have delayed their relocation for as long as possible because they claim that the new facilities are not adequate, that it is too hot in summer (there are no surrounding trees), that the air conditioning doesn’t work and that when it rains some of the premises are flooded.
The location is also several blocks away from where the market was before, which was effectively the centre of community life in Testaccio. Now customers will have considerably further to carry their shopping home and popping out to do the daily shop will become a chore.