Like most towns around Italy there’s a day when a multitude of trucks and vans pull into town and sell everything from kitchenwares to shoes to underwear and trinkets too numerous to name. Here in Lucca the mercato takes place on Wednesday and Saturday mornings near the Porta Elisa on the eastern edge of town.
My first experience with this type of market was some years back in Arezzo. Being new to this weekly event I expected a giant farmers’ market with stands overflowing with seasonal produce. What a surprise that I had to walk through blocks of tables with bras, sweaters, purses and what not before I got to the small food area.
It was early spring and I came upon a man with artichokes piled high on his table and I stopped to take a photo. Luckily I got my picture before he snarled at me and said “non c’e un spettacolo”-(this isn’t a show). This was in the time before cell phone cameras and the constant barrage of people photographing everything in sight. I wonder how he would react today?
I don’t have much interest in this market but knew my friends from the UK would enjoy checking out the goods. We sauntered through the whole market and sure enough most of the food items were at the opposite end from where we had started.
No, I didn’t have a porchetta panino but I was surely tempted!