4 Best Places to Shop in Palermo, Sicily

Ballarò Market


Wind your way through the Albergheria district and this historic market, where the Saracens did their shopping in the 11th century—joined by the Normans in the 12th. The market's name is said to come from nearby Monreale, named Bahlara when Arab traders resided there, and it remains faithful to their original commerce of fruit, vegetables, and grain. These days the stalls are dotted with bars and outdoor restaurants where you can sample the produce, but the market has lost none of its authenticity—just keep a close eye on your belongings in the crowd. And go early: the action dies out by 4 pm most days.

Ballarò Market, Palermo, Italy

Enoteca Picone


The best wineshop in town has been family run for four generations and stocks a fantastic selection of Sicilian and national wines. Although service can be curt, you can taste a selection of wines by the glass in the front of the store. There are tables in the back, where meats and cheeses are also served.

Pasticceria Alba


One of the most famous sweets shops in Italy, this is the place to find pastry favorites like cannoli and cassata siciliana, as well as excellent gelato in summer. There is also an on-site restaurant pizzeria.

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Vucciria Market


A ghost of its former self, Vucciria—whose name translates to "voices" or "hubbub"—was once the most vibrant market in Palermo, memorably captured in Renato Guttuso's canvas of the same name (now exhibited in Palazzo Steri). It is now reduced to barely more than a single street and piazza. It takes on more of a street food atmosphere at night, when no-name bars open to sell cheap cocktails to the crowds gathering around the smoking grills that are wheeled outside after dark.

Vucciria Market, Palermo, Italy