This chapter argues that enabling encounters among strangers, street vending and its complementary private activities contribute to the publicness of the streets, and therefore characterize street culture. Scholars have long argued that, with these qualities, democratic public spaces favor encounters among strangers and enhance mutual respect. Street vending is another private activity that takes place in public space, a market transaction between willing buyers and sellers. Rome’s iconic public spaces are considered prototypical in their scale, flexibility, and porosity. Scholars have long saluted the vibrant streets and piazzas of historic Rome as ideal public spaces that support “the joint existence of the overtly planned and the genuinely unplanned, of the set piece and the accident, of the private and the public”. The data collected suggest that the personal uses that vendors make of public spaces are crucial to enhancing a sense of familiarity among diverse people. While the vendors’ presence elicits conflicts, it also enables conviviality and opportunities for recognition.