Looking For Interesting Outdoor Markets

Sep 6th, 2011, 02:15 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Looking For Interesting Outdoor Markets

We will be in Tuscany, (around Florence and Sienna) only 3-4 days and would love to visit some markets on Friday or Saturday. But it seems every town or village that has a market day has it on a day that's unavailable to us! Are markets held only Monday through Thursdays? If anyone knows of a picturesque town, complete with market, on Fri-Sat please let us know. Thanks!
Dietger is offline  
Sep 6th, 2011, 03:24 PM
  #3  
 
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If you really care about food and food markets, the 45 minute trip to Bologna will knock your socks off. Nobody in central Italy cares pours more love into their food markets than the Bolognese do. You need to get to Bologna before lunch to see it, but it is an easy 20 minute walk from the train station to the open markets just off the piazza Maggiore.

Otherwise, be advised that most picturesque town markets in Italy are absolutely utilitarian, and they are like open air five and dimes. (Remember Woolworth's?) If you need cellulose sponges, hairspray. cheap pantyhose, school notebooks, and the usual assortment of veg and cheese, you won't want to miss an Italian town market. There are rarely special soaps, or food that has been braided or tied up with a bow like you see in France. There are not quaint tea towels and such. Just a lot of bargain basement stuff. If you live in a small picturesque Italian town the markets are great, because you can get practical stuff without heading all the way to the city. But if you have traveled several thousand miles and endured jet lag to look at a selection of stuff than compares unfavorably with what you find at any suburban Target, you might wish you'd visited that small town on a day when the prettiest square in town wasn't filled with trucks.
zeppole is offline  
Sep 7th, 2011, 07:00 AM
  #4  
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Wow ... that's good to know. Guess it's time to curb my romantic visions a bit. Thank you so much for the info.
Dietger is offline  
Sep 7th, 2011, 09:35 AM
  #5  
 
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And for food, although it isn't cute, the Mercato Centrale, a two-story indoor market in Florence, is wonderful.
charnees is offline  
Sep 7th, 2011, 09:57 AM
  #6  
 
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Zeppole is being uncharacteristically downbeat.

The nonfood at most markets is grisly, and over the past 50 years has steadily increased its share of market stalls: the central market in a town the size of Orvieto will have little more than half a dozen greengrocery stalls (if that), a couple of cheesemongers/salumaii, a couple of butchers and maybe a fish van. But it's got the compulsory porchetta sandwich man (which often makes up for everything else), the fruit and veg is generally terrific and the cheese and it'll have cheese and salumi you find find in the small shops and not churned out by the industrial megaplexes who supply most of the supermarkets.

Like English pubs, they're not what they were. But they're better than anywhere else - and probably more useful
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 7th, 2011, 09:59 AM
  #7  
 
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What I meant to say was:

Zeppole is being uncharacteristically downbeat.

The nonfood at most markets is grisly, and over the past 50 years has steadily increased its share of market stalls: the central market in a town the size of Orvieto will have little more than half a dozen greengrocery stalls (if that), a couple of cheesemongers/salumaii, a couple of butchers and maybe a fish van. But it's got the compulsory porchetta sandwich man (which often makes up for everything else), the fruit and veg is generally terrific and it'll have cheese and salumi you won't find in the small shops and isn't churned out by the industrial megaplexes who supply most of the supermarkets.

Like English pubs, they're not what they were. But they're better than anywhere else - and probably more useful
flanneruk is offline  

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