Outdoor Food & Antique Markets in Sicily


Outdoor Food & Antique Markets in Sicily

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Outdoor markets abound all over Italy, offering travelers a unique source of souvenirs and consolation gifts for the friends they left behind. But markets play a slightly different role in the South, where they are often the only source of dry goods and fancy foods in small, relatively secluded hill towns. These markets may not be as flashy and elite as their northern counterparts, but they are a focal point of town life. Everyone awaits the day, once or twice a month, when a small fleet of mini-vans and trucks pull into the town square. Small children help the vendors assemble their stands, hang crisply ironed linens from the overhead scaffolding, spread out inexpensive kitchen gadgets, espresso machines, pots and pans, cleaning products, portable radios and small appliances on the tables. Other stands are layered with every item of apparel known to man, mostly made of denim. Handbags swing above rows of shoes and sandals. One corner of the square is reserved for the food stands, which offer a vast array of cheeses, salamis and sausages, plus all sorts of (mostly American) processed foods. The last item to appear is fresh coconut, sliced and displayed on a sort of multi-tiered fountain whose trickling streams keep the pulp juicy all through the frantic market day that follows. It is hard to happen upon these town markets (ask the locals as you travel around the island), but if you find one, stop and browse for a while. Nowhere will you have a better chance to get to know the natives.

Here is a partial calendar of outdoor markets held in Sicily. Keep in mind that special outdoor markets are almost always held on the occasion of town fairs and festivals.


There are two more traditional flea markets of note in Sicily, and the special attraction here are the Sicilian marionettes and painted carts, a beautiful gift for children of all ages:


Food Markets



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