you may feel close to Tara McLaughlin when she talks

12/02/2009 - 08:23

you may feel close to Tara McLaughlin when she talks about the local market in Italy

Il mercato - a local market experience

at local markets you can find  plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, local cheeses and other products... but if you spend there a few hours you will surely experience part of what italian life and culture is. 

Have you already experienced this atmosphere and noticed the same aspects as Tara?



 of course we have the old covered market...but its pretty dismal.. the building is nice but it sort of stopped really being the real thing ages ago.. the weekly market like most in Italy is a sad affair of mainly chines stalls selling cheap clothes.. but..there is a revival of all that is good porta romana now has a weekly farmers market which has been organised by the local farmers union... and that is where to go...people selling what they have produced... i dont know if the decline of the real market selling real Italian produce is just a central north thing.. maybe south still preserves more of its local produce...thankfully there is a retro move to try and get back to basic good produce ... and i am glad of that ..we are also lucky because we have a Sunday morning market in a small town called Campli.. one of the most beautiful towns here.. they combine the mix of chinese clothes, muslim run stalls and a few Italian stalls with all the local shops being open too... its a fun place to go..reading the above its not that i am against the non Italian people running their stalls .. they offer the best value..and they have as much right as anyone to be doing what they do... but i would like to see more iniative from Italians make and sell , or produce and sell in their own markets...without the forign stalls most markets would be sad palces to be.. and those that are not Italian have filled gaps left because the probelm seems to me to be Italian producers just cannot be bothered to sell like that any more.. i said at the start though thankfully its beginning to change back 

We have markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays downtown in Bagni on the main square. Nothing spectacular but there are a couple of fruit and vegetable stalls selling very fresh produce and other stalls selling local cheese, salami, etc. On Saturdays, they sell roast chicken, which is tasty and very handy. There are also the usual clothes and shoes stalls, plants and other items being sold. I always go and buy something to help the local economy. Castelnuovo di Garfagnana has quite a larger market on Thursdays. I haven´t visited the other neighbouring markets as yet.

I was speechless.  Watching, smelling and listening.  It was a wonderful experience and I tried to catch as many markets as I could.  Hopefully the photo will come through.  Was take this last June when I was lucky enough to spend the month in the Garfagnana area.  Hummm tried several attempts at downloading my favorite market photo....needless to say I was unsuccessful! ps to Adriatica - the majority of stalls in the Garfagnana area were Italian operated with Italian product.  I was so tickled to get home with all types of items bearing tags "made in Italy"!

 There are a few towns around where we have our house, namely Cassino, Sora, Atina, San Donato to name a few, and all of them have markets each week which are differently set out which makes each of them unique.  I am pleased to say there are loads of Italian stalls from fruit, veg, meats, cheese, fish, hot chicken and pork to clothes for babies and adults, hand made jewellery, shoes in abundance and all Italian, not non-Italian run.  There are the cheaper stalls with chinese stuff but they are obvious by their prices as well as the quality straight away.  The Italian items stand out next to them.    I love going to the markets and especially Atina where I sit in a cafe, drink coffee and watch the world go by as it most likely has for the past 100 years.  The backdrop of buildings would be the same, the smell of basil, fruit, meats and cheeses the same, just the dress fashions have changed (no cars allowed into this area).   And as for the shoes in Sora and Cassino market, the variety and quality!!! Wow!!!   Maralyn

They seem alive and well in T These seem alive and well in all the towns around us.  Bit samey - and usually a spectacular selection of granny pants.  But loads of fruit veg cheese etc.  And the fried fish van - the smell of which makes my daughter heave but which I love