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Mercato di Ballaro, Palermo, Sicily

05 Palermo Mercato di Ballaro

There are four big street markets in Palermo, one in each of the 4 historic quarters of the city.  We had chance to visit two of these during our visit to Sicily and the Mercato di Ballaro was the one we liked most.

While I’d read about the market in my trip preparation, we stumbled on it by accident as we were heading back to our hotel from a visit to the Capella Palatina.  The market winds down a small street for a number of blocks, with wall-to-wall vendors on both sides of the road.  The market caters to the workers and families who live in the area; while it runs all day, it’s busiest in the morning, slows down during afternoon “siesta” time, and picks up in the late afternoon (which was when we wandered through it).  Mostly it featured fresh produce (artichokes and citrus fruits were notably in season), but with cheese and meat available as well as a few non-food items, like shoes and clothes.

We visited Palermo in the winter so the variety of produce was undoubtedly more limited than it would have been had we visited in the summer.  But everything look fresh and tasty.  Here’s some of what we saw:

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