Vucciria and other markets, Palermo
If you are anything close to foodie and you like cooking you cannot miss this place.
The whole street is a endless line of smiths' workshops. Some of them are nowadays mainly re-seller but in a lot of them you can still watch the smith forging all kind of objects.
Each and every shop is packed with item of all size and style hanging all over the place and looking around you soon realize that cooking here is a serious business! Most of the pans and pots are HUGE!
You can find also all about baking, frying and barbecuing tools. Also some very cute lanterns.
Address: Via Calderai
Directions: it is one of the side streets of Via Maqueda
I liked this market even more than Ballaro, it sprawl from via Porta Carini to the near streets and it has a more "popular" feeling. The neighbor is rougher and the streets kind of narrow. It felt to me like this is a poor area of town, where less wealthy people live and shop.
There are lots of stalls selling all kind of food and a variety of different kind of people shopping.
It does not get as many tourists as Vucciria marker and Ballarò so it felt more authentic. Also it is located in what used to be the Arab section of the town and it maintained over the century the look of a oriental market, kind of a suk.
I found here a lot of stalls selling spices, they were very cheap and very good too.
As everywhere in Palermo you can find lots of street food seller, perfect for a quick snack.
Directions: via Porta Carini and surrounding.
Despite the fact Palermo has so much art and architecture to see, the part I enjoyed the most was its markets.
Ballarò market is huge and centered around Piazza Casa Professa and corso Tukory, it is the oldest market in Palermo and it is the best one for food. There are hundreds of stall selling everything you would think about food: fruits, vegetables, spices, bread, meat, fish, seller of local street food like the spleen sandwich (Panino con la milza) that is suppose to be a hit! sorry.. i did not dared to try it...
The market is an explosion of colors, sound and voices as the seller make sure to attract their potential customer calling out very loud their specialty.
Be aware that some of the stalls can be a little upsetting as for example it is normal in meat shops to sell stuff like all kind of guts, horse heads, goat heads and other amenities and they are in display.
One more note, do not forget to look up while you are strolling around, you will be surprised by a wonderful church's dome.
Be always aware of your surrounding, like in every big city crowded areas are much likely be pick pocketing territory.
Directions: around Piazza Casa Professa and corso Tukory
The markets of Palermo definitely have the air of North Africa about them. The 2 main ones are La Vucciria and Mercato di Capo. La Vucciria centred around Piazza San Domenico spreads into the side streets in all directions. Fresh fish, meat, and recently harvested produce like wild fennel, artichokes and blood oranges are in abundance.
Mercato do Capo spreads out from Chiesa Sant.Agostino with clothing stalls, leather goods and, of course, the ever present fish,meat, fruit and vegetables.
It's great to just meandre the streets chomping away on panelle or calzoni.
A nice place to do everyday shopping, especially if you you cook for yourself. Fish and seafud in abundance. Also quite a wide choice of fruit and vegetables. I concentrated on spices. A friend recommended to us a kind of really hot dried red pepper. The fruit were very small, about a centimetre long but they were so spicy I couldn't use it at all. My friend, however, who loves everything that's spicy, loved them.
The markets of Palermo are cramed full of all the fruit, vegtables, fresh fish, cheese and oils. All of the best quality and very cheap prices. It's also a generally friendly atmosphere and a great place to start the day, get all the smells in your lungs as early as you can.
Take time in Palermo to explore the side streets and in particular the street markets, where you’ll get a close-up look at daily life in the city. We enjoyed a wander through Vucciria market, which runs parallel to via Roma (starting from the Piazza San Domenico). Of course in this port city there were wonderful displays of fresh fish, and the vegetables and fruit also looked fantastic. There are also hardware stalls and others with various essentials, and the overall atmosphere was somewhat middle-eastern, reflecting the city’s very mixed cultural heritage.
Directions: The street runs east from the Piazza San Domenico, parallel to via Roma
take a ride in La Vucciria (where is the daily market, near Piazza San Domenico) after the sunset.
You can stop to take some pics but do not switch off the engine :-)
Someone can find this place a little scary.
Vuccirìa is the largest and most popular market street in Palermo.
This is a great casbah-like markets, with mountains of food ranging from fresh swordfish steaks to all sorts of meat and recently harvested produce, reflecting the bounty of the Sicilian countryside. The array of such items as wild fennel, long-stemmed artichokes, blood oranges, and giant octopus will astound you.
This market trades Monday through Saturday until 2pm. Try to go before 10am, when it's at its most frenetic and colorful.
Directions: A little to the south of the Oratorio del Rosario di San Domenico, running parallel with Via Vittorio Emanuele.
A very lively market in the heart of the quarter La Vucciria with stalls selling vegetable, fruit, meat, fish and what have you. We sort of happened to land here on our way back to our car, but couldn't stop to linger around and savour the mediterranean aromas and watch the business of the traders.
La Vucciria is a Palermo's colourful market . If you leave Piazza Marina with the sea behind you you'll reach Corso Vittorio Emanuele, just before Via Maqueda on the right you should see (hear and smell) the market once immortalised by the painter Renato Guttuso. Here the colours, flavours and voices of Palermo come together in a sensual medley second to none. Stall-holders will try to entice you to buy their wares - from freshly caught fish to luscious vegetables and pungent spices. Food stalls sell an array of sandwiches filled with just about anything you can fry: panelle, chickpea fritters, aubergines, octopus - the list is endless. If you prefer to sit while you're eating try the 'Trattoria Shanghai', which, despite its Chinese name, serves traditional Sicilian food. As you sit supping overlooking the market you'll be forgiven for thinking you're in the middle of Shanghai, or Casablanca or......
Palermo has a rich artisan production. For example the production of artistic ceramics and of sicilian puppets and carts, copper and tin works in VIA CALDERAI, the making of chestnut wood and rush baskets near THE CALA and wrought-iron articles. A visit to the flea market (MERCATO DELLE PULCI), to browse among antique and modern and antique knick-knack, is of great interest. The confectioners offer many delicious cakes with ricotta cream (cannoli, casate etc.) and also cakes made from marzipan, the delicious marzipan fruits called 'frutti di martorana' and around all soul's Day, the socalled 'pupi a cera' these include knights, ladies and other figures made of sugar wich are offered to children during festivities.
THE OLD MARKETS
Opening hours: Weekdays from the earl morning to the evening; closed on holidays.
In Caracciolo square and neighbours, its name comes from the french word 'boucherie' that means butcher's market, but you can find everything: fresh fish, food stuffs, fruits & vegetables, clothes, etc.
All these things are displayed on stalls or hung in front of the stores giving the atmosfere of arabic suk.
It develops between Sant'agostino street and Porta Carini; you can find everything like Vucciria market : goods, wearing (even used clothes), useful objets for the house.
It covers the old quarter of Albergheria from Carmine square to Ballarò square. Even here you can find everything you need.
It is near the omonimous square of Casa Professa. There are new and used clothes, materials and all kind of used things.
It is next to Borsa Square, its name cames from the arabic word 'Suk-el-attarin' it means groceries'market but even in this case it is not only for groceries. Today you can find canvas and ropes, wholesales of wool and cotton for embrodery, underwear, socks, handkerchief, military clothes for hiking, leather jackets, rubber boots, military boots, sailor jumpers and knitwear.
MERCATO DELLE PULCI
Flee market. Antiques and local modern objets. Open weekdays from morning until afternoon. Holidays half a day.
La Vucciria is the market that hides in the narrow side streets of Palermo, not far from the railway station. This is where you can buy your fish: wriggling octopus, translucent squid, huge slabs of swordfish. Look, too, for Sicilian fruit, tumbling from the stalls.
Vucciria is one of the many old markets we have in Palermo..
Visit it is useful to see the old Palermo.
The Vucciria area, incidentally, is said to be quite dangerous. Don't tempt fate like I did and wander around alone snapping your camera.