The link between CAR (wholesale market) and retail market of Testaccio
The operative link between the wholesale fresh food market of Rome (built along via Ostiense in 1922 with the official definition of “Mercati generali”) and the street retail market of Testaccio has an old story and a very similar modernization, because the old site of the retail market and also the new one (recently moved and rebuilt as a unitary coverd structure of exquisite architecture with a central “piazzetta”) are very close (less than a kilometer…) to the old site of Mercati Generali.
That means that until 2002 – when the wholesale market was moved and rebuilt in the far and technologically equipped area of Centro Agroalimentare di Roma (140 hectares between via Tiburtina and highway A24) – the retailers of Testaccio market received daily the freshest agricultural products that had just arrived to the wholesale market.
But the strong link between the renewed and rebuilt structures – although separated from each other for several kilometres has never been lost, nor has ever failed. It is so true, that – among 120 street retail fresh food markets in Rome – Testaccio has been one of the first and among the most determined to participate in the promotion of brand “Cuor di Car”, recently launched with commercial success by Centro Agroalimentare Roma.
For this reason, in the context of the Wuwm campaign “Love your local market”, the managing director Fabio Massimo Pallottini and his officials and cadres of Car Scpa have decided to enter the Testaccio Market among those most deserving of mention for fellowship, sharing, alignment of the strategies and the mission of Centro Agroalimentare Roma.
The ancient symbolic badge of the Rome river district of “Testaccio” was a roman amphora, because of the trading and logistics planning function that absolved in antiquity, as a huge and organized array of storages and warehouses of goods (especially foods), that went up the river Tiber to ensure supplies to a city of one million inhabitants.
The remains of the broken clay vessels (amphorae) were stacked, creating the artificial Testaccio Hill (of almost forty meters) – “Mons Testaceus” in Latin because “testae” means “fragments” – which today is a source of much archeological evidence as to the history of ancient everyday Roman life. The district seal depicts one of these “amphorae”. In modern times, the same area has been a center of activity for butchers – for the old slaughterhouse called “Mattatoio” – and for fresh food wholesalers of the “Mercati generali”.
Testaccio was in fact one of Rome’s traditional trading districts and the working class neighbourhood, but the recent process of gentrification has changed its reputation from hard-at-work to “hipster”. Many are the places where musicians play live and just as many the clubs and discos. But the neighborhood is home also to several of Rome’s culinary highlights and best international food shops.
Testaccio’s reputation among tourists is now expanding even thanks to the rebuilt street retail market – architecturally valuable with its central “piazzetta” – where next to the commercial activities operate either dining places, bar, kitchen spots, etc. Its old trading identity (only a few days ago archeologist presented to press the important discovery of the remains unearthed of the “Porticus Minuciae”, where warehousing, trading, and cooking coexisted in the Imperial Rome) and the innovative dynamism of the district surely can support in the best way the aims of the “Love your local market” campaign and the interests in the commercial development shared by Testaccio market’s retailers and Centro Agroalimentare Roma’s wholesalers.