Exploring the sights, smells, and tastes of an authentic Italian market
Recently, I had the pleasure of exploring Italy with my family. I love everything about Italian culture, from the loud nature of the residents, the importance of family, to the incredible food and wine. I love how every meal is an event, and I especially love enjoying a glass of Prosecco before lunch.
While exploring Sicily, I spent some time wandering through an authentic Italian market through the hustle and bustle of a busy day.
As the market was opening, vendors stood behind their stands salting fresh fish and perfecting their signage as they shouted into the street at passersby, advertising their products.
Vendors sold every type of ingredient that you could desire to enhance your meal, from herbs and spices, to nuts, to cheeses, olives, and fish.
The streets were narrow and crowded, but that didn’t deter scooter riders from speeding through the walkways. No pedestrian was safe from the merciless residents on scooters, and I found myself frantically jumping out of their way multiple times.
As the hot day continued, the inventory of vendors quickly thinned out, with the fish disappearing from sight first. Despite this, prospective buyers never worried about lack of availability, and there was always someone else selling exactly what you may be looking for.
Observing the fast-paced market and the relationships between vendors and customers and vendors and vendors was intriguing. Vendors did not easily let a potential buyer walk away without striking a deal, and they were very adamant that their product was always the best.
The selection was overwhelming, some of which included items that I had never seen or heard of before in my life. The selection also included very classic items such as cheese, olives, and sausage.
As vendors cleared their inventory, the mounds of empty crates grew higher, and many stands started to pack up before 2 PM.
As I left the market, I wandered through the town, observing locals hanging their laundry on their balconies or simply enjoying the company of friends and family. I couldn’t help but smile as I left after observing such hard working, passionate people live their lives for the better part of my day.
I truly believe that there is no better way to observe Italian culture than by wandering through the streets of the marketplace. I recommend the experience to any prospective traveler.
August 26, 2017