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Palermo’s Vucciria Market


The most famous of Palermo’s four main markets is the Vucciria market.  The market’s name is derived from the Sicilian language, wherein Vucciria means “voices”.  Interesting…a market named for the sound of those bartering and dealing.  You’ll find this market, which winds through the curving graffiti-covered streets around Piazza San Domenico, in the heart of Palermo’s historic district.

The Vucciria market is open every day except Sunday, from dawn until about 2 pm.  You’ll find all kinds of fresh produce, seafood, meats and grocery items.  Souvenirs, household goods and handcrafts are also for sale.  A market has been held on these streets for at least 700 years.

My wife and I had looked forward to strolling through the Vucciria market because of its reputation as having many “colorful” vendors and customers.   Unfortunately, we probably picked the worst day of the year to visit.  It was bitterly cold and windy.  Snow was in the air (it snowed later that evening) and only the bravest of merchants had set up their stalls.  I imagine we experienced a  mini-market, only a small fraction of what there might have been on a nice spring or summer day.  What we saw was nice but not overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination.

Or perhaps we were just observing a trend because we’re told the Vucciria market is fading away.  New construction and development around the market is slowly eroding it — crowding it out of many streets and reducing its extent.  That would be a shame but I suspect that somehow the market will find a way to carry on.

Here’s some of what we saw on that cold winter day at Vucciria market:


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