Italy: Porta Portese market remains open despite Lazio being in an orange zone

Rome: Perplexed residents have been quoted saying, “Why, at this point, not let restaurants work?”. The Councillor for Commerce of City Hall XII said, “The rule allows merchants to open, based on an old interpretation of a loophole of the Ministry of the Interior, but I can understand that citizens find it paradoxical.”

Few people and a few gatherings. On Sunday, when citizens who live in the Trastevere and Via Portuense neighborhoods looked out and realized that the Sunday market of Porta Portese was open, they were stunned, especially after the controversy of recent months, at the sight of queues and crowds.

“Yet”, explained Fabio Rossi to La Repubblica, Councillor for Commerce of the XII municipality, “the rule allows traders to open, according to an old loophiole of the Ministry of the Interior, but I can understand that citizens find it paradoxical. And in fact, not even in the infographic published on the Region’s website is explicit reference made to markets.

Yes, despite the fact that, perhaps due to the cold weather, the market was not very crowded, the local residents are rather resentful. “Why, at this point, don’t we let the restaurants do their jobs?” asked one woman as she returned to the door of her home. She also pointed out some crowds that, in fact, were there, especially at some stalls where t-shirts and various knitwear are given away for a few euros.

And, where the street narrows, as in via Bargoni, at the beginning of via Ippolito Nievo and in via Napoleone Parboni, there was a bit of a queue, however everyone wore a mask and some shopkeepers also provided sanitizing gel. “I don’t know how long we’ll be able to stay active, but as long as it lasts … it’s work for us,” says a merchant who sells antiques. “Today? Not a lot of people and no business so far,” he added, before going back to looking around waiting for the next potential customer to present “the deal of the day.”