Dream factory: The Monti Urban Market in Rome
The most interesting and creative heads, hearts and hands in the whole of Rome
If you go to Monti, be sure not to miss the Monti Urban Market. Especially if you’re in Rome with your wife or girlfriend, it certainly can’t be considered a proper holiday without a good shopping session, and possibly a walk through the stands of a local street market. And how can you blame them? Far from the consumerism of large shopping centres, it’s nice to discover the local craftsmanship, travel through ideas, trends and ways of thinking, and explore the spirit of the neighbourhood.
Fashion is culture, and culture is the heart of the people.
Let’s stay in this small room in the Grand Hotel Palatino of Rome, in the middle of the Monti neighbourhood, and let’s explore the great ideas of the the Monti Urban Market.
The history of the Monti Urban Market in Rome
There are many different definitions of market. The Monti Urban Market has its own specific identity, thanks to the founder, Ornella Cicchetti, and her collaborator Bibi Marin. In 2009 they decided to join forces and unite the energy, enthusiasm and creativity of some of the workshops in Monti into this small market in Via Leonina 46. They found themselves working in the difficult atmosphere of an economic crisis, job opportunities being particularly scarce, especially for those just starting out. This is exactly how the Monti Urban Market was born, a small cradle of creativity in which all kinds of artists are welcome: stylists, designers, inventors and artisans can all use it as a space to exchange ideas, relate to each other and make new contacts.
The Monti Neighbourhood’s Craftsmanship: past and present
The market is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in one of the rooms of the Grand Hotel Palatino of Rome, in Via Leonina 46. The Monti neighbourhood is historically thriving with local craftsmen, a meeting place where artists and artisans can discuss their ideas and put them into practice. At the Monti Urban Market you will find a wide selection of works in progress. There are 35 permanent stalls and 20 that exhibit alternately. You can enter their world and their ideas, perhaps by touching the leather of a pair of handmade street style sneakers, or the soft silk of a blouse with hand sewn hems and buttonholes made by Italian tailors, with the look of ’60s and ’70s cinema divas.
You’ll find furniture made in recycled materials, unique Italian crafts; something for everyone, even without the added privilege of knowing exactly who made that armchair or those earrings.
World Wide Monti
The melting pot of ideas that is the Monti Urban Market meets a crowd that is just as variegated. Occasional tourist and true roman walk side by side through stands filled with curious objects, vintage clothes and accessories, vinyls and retro sunglasses.
Families with kids, girls with pink hair and provocative outfits and random adventurers with a camera strung around their neck: it’s Rome’s most famous and trendy undercover market.
Its fame has travelled the world and crossed oceans. Many have talked about it, The Guardian, Condè Nasty Traveller US, National Geographic UK and its name has even appeared in the guide “36 hours” made by New York Times. This international atmosphere that surrounds the market is also supported by its founder Ornella, who lived for a few years in the most multicultural city in Europe, London, and today is still responsible for choosing the up-and-coming artists for the Monti Urban Market. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is managed by Bibi: he went from running his small workshop in Monti to running the Monti Urban Market space and organising the tracklist with black, funky and soul tunes.
Fashion and more: social commitment
Setting a trend or creating a brand can be a good way to bring awareness to the public regarding social issues. As well as supporting young and talented artists who are always encouraged by the Monti market, some of the official gadgets of the Monti Urban Market are LGBT friendly, where a rainbow joins together two clouds in which is written “Mum” and “Dad”, or “Mum” and “Mum” or “Dad” and “Dad”.
If you find yourself in the Monti neighbourhood in Rome, be sure to go to the Monti Urban Market and breathe a little creativity and inspiration. If you’d like to know more about the history, the artists and the current trends, go to the official website.
If you want to stay not far from the market, book the holiday home San Martino View ai Monti.