We all love Italy! With its endless historical sites, stunning cuisine, and gorgeous cities, it is safe to say that it is one of the best countries in the world.
However, while we all know and love the time-tested tourist attractions, there is plenty of lesser-known but just as important corners scattered around these beautiful Italian cities.
For example, did you know that there are eleven different types of Italian markets differentiated by selling points, general goods, and placement? We are here to introduce you to this less-popular but just as important side of Italy and make sure you know the best places to shop for Italian merchandise!
Mercato Ballaro’, Palermo
Settled in the beautiful town of Palermo, Mercato Ballaro’ is one of the most gorgeous historical markets to explore and probably spend some money on!
This incredible street market is one of the oldest ones in the city, coloring the whole region of Sicily in many shades of Italian goods. With its reasonably large size and an exploding mixture of fresh scents, Ballaro’ is there for you if you want to purchase some Italian food, including spices, fish, meat, fruit, or vegetables.
Knowing how famous Italian cuisine is, Mercato Ballaro’ is the perfect way for you to taste the fresh ingredients that make our loved meals so delicious! The area is constantly crowded and quite noisy, but that is just the Italian way, so try to embrace it and enjoy the experience.
You might even find yourself comparing Mercato Ballaro’ to the Arabic street markets, and that is because of its close relation to ancient Arabic origins, making it an even more unique shopping site!
Mercato di Campo de’ Fiori, Rome
Certainly the most popular one in the capital city, Mercato di Campo de’ Fiori is considered to be one of the top street markets in Italy, operating for years and allowing you a different point of view of one of the most gorgeous piazzas in the country.
Settled across Fiori square, this market is the top shopping site if you are looking for fresh Italian food, ingredients, and even flowers! Since the 19th century, for every day of the week except Sunday, the whole area is covered in colorful stalls of poultry, fish, pasta, and veggies. Seeing as this is the oldest market in Rome, it is usually quite crowded, but that is just a part of the whole shopping experience!
Bargain with friendly vendors, take advice, and make sure you bring some of the purchases back home with you! Even if you do not end up buying anything, still make sure to take a good look around and even capture some of it with your camera. Mercato di Campo de’ Fiori is very iconically Italian, so be sure to visit!
Mercato di San Gregorio Armeno, Naples
While we know Italy for its incredible food, Naples is a whole another level of Italian goods! Check out any guided Italy tours – they will all tell you the same story of delicious Italian cuisine, the best ingredients, and the best chefs in the country. However, this particular market in Naples gives a different meaning to the word and is much more interesting than you might expect!
Focused solely on the nativity scenes and figurines, Mercato di San Gregorio Armeno is probably the most exciting and unique shopping space in Italy. With handcrafted pastori and terracotta figurines, the market is most often visited by faithful devotees looking for more eccentric ways to express their religion.
However, you do not have to be a true-hearted admirer to visit Mercato di San Gregorio Armeno. Crowds of tourists visit the market daily just for the sake of culture and to see what is so unique about it.
The whole religious scene and the Nativity stage are brought to you in the most festive and Italian ways, so you would still find something fun and cool to take home. However, if you are determined to leave empty-handed, make sure to at least take a stroll – the whole vibe is unreal!
Mercato San Lorenzo, Florence
After the unique shopping spree in Naples, take the train from Naples to Florence and visit the most popular and historically significant market in Tuscany!
Mercato San Lorenzo is a vast market divided into two parts – the first one you will find indoors, with colorful tables of fresh Italian ingredients and Florentine food. The second part is all happening outside and offers you a wide variety of leathers, Italian souvenirs, and clothing.
Since the first part of your shopping spree is all happening inside, you can appreciate the Italian structure of an indoor market, starting with the display and ending with distinctive casual-Italian architecture. The iron and glass building of the 19th century gives off a very unique mixture of classic to modern, and all of the fresh food and loud vendors bring it all together into a unique Italian shop.
Mercato San Lorenzo is unlike any other, and you can treat it as one of the touring sites, not only as a market of goods. Make sure you have enough time to admire it and, of course, have some room in your bag to take something home.
Whether you are looking for souvenirs, a parting gift, or something for dinner, Mercato San Lorenzo is the place to be on an early Italian morning!
Make sure to choose any of these on your next Italian trip and bring back not only memories but something to last you a little longer! Check the opening hours so that you have some time to wander around, and make sure to have cash. Not every selling point allows cards, and you will definitely find something worth purchasing. So, explore, buy, and arrivederci!
© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.