The history of markets is the history of man, commercial exchanges bring with them cultural exchanges: cultures merge and intertwine creating new inspirations in what has been called a 'melting pot'.
Traveling around the world we discover that in the historic centers of nearly every cities there is a 'Market Square' where merchandise was sold daily or weekly. These squares were true social reference points and the main meeting places where city assemblies also took place.
Covered markets were also born from the open-air squares, sometimes simple porticoes but often also indoor places where there are small stable structures for retail sales. For a long time, they did not undergo major changes and were relegated mainly to places of sale, but in recent years their evolution has recovered their initial social spirit.
In Northern Europe, perhaps due to the cold climate, the markets have changed from places to purchase products from small farmers to places of tasting and eating: those in Amsterdam or Barcelona have become famous. Then ten years ago Umberto Montano launched the Mercato Centrale formula in Italy too, and today he has opened in various cities and also in Melbourne, Australia.
The restyling of the old markets was very profound because in addition to touching on the commercial aspects it had to give a new image inside and outside the structure. There is therefore no doubt that design has played and plays a fundamental role in attracting new forms of entertainment and audiences.
Thus, we arrive in Colleferro, where since its birth the covered market has been conceived as an architectural structure inserted in the new city that the great Riccardo Morandi had designed. It is no coincidence that thanks to this project, the municipality of Colleferro was named City of Culture of the Lazio Region and the twentieth-century historic center was turned into a museum.
For the mayor Pierluigi Sanna: "The covered market in Via Sobrero has always represented a place of the heart for all the people of Colleferro and a point of reference for the entire territory. Despite the horrible changes made in the 90s, it is a Morandi original of great value that deserves to be open even in the afternoon, providing everyone with an even better service."
After a period of decline due to the great competition from supermarkets, the Covered Market in Via Sobrero in Colleferro today tries to renew itself to return to being a social place. First of all, a restyling and an identifying logo that recalls the original architectural design of the Morandi city. The architects of the change were two professionals from Colleferro, the architect Gianluca de Cesaris and the interior designer Stefano Cipriani.
At this point I must confess my emotion. I knew both parents who had started working with my grandfather's company and, when I was little, they had always been kind and smiling towards me so they have a place in my heart.
When on the opening day I saw Gianluca and Stefano smiling as they walked through the market, my heart sank and I saw Piero and Romoletto again. What a beauty it is to be part of a community: these overlaps really give the meaning of life.
Their choice was to design new fruit counters, which could satisfy the need to be easily moved to make the spaces flexible for social events, and a covering to filter the light. This was chosen with a design that can project shadows of leaves, grape shoots and nature on the floor to create a play of shapes.
Lastly, they designed a play/educational room with special wooden tables, which host a central space dedicated to the cultivation of medicinal herbs, and which can be used by children and teenagers.
To date I have already eaten at the market a couple of times, I listened to a concert, and I continue to buy fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat from Maurizio (in addition to fish from Giulio) and I have had fun meeting friends. We are at the beginning, but the prospects are positive and Francesca Litta's involvement with Slow Food stimulates my curiosity for many future events.