Besides the sight of Mt. Etna looming not far away, perhaps the most famous landmark in Catania is its lively fish market, La Pescheria. There’s more to the market than seafood, but I’ve never encountered a more diverse selection of fresh seafood anywhere. And the operative word is fresh as much of the merchandise was still flopping and flipping about. The fish mongers are a lively bunch, trying to entice everyone passing by to purchase their fish, which are said to be the best and/or cheapest in the market.
Given that it’s situated on the Gulf of Catania, it’s not surprising to find that seafood is so popular with the locals and a key ingredient in local cuisine. You’ll find massive fish, like swordfish and tuna, being expertly carved. There are trays full of prawns, snails, octopus, eels, sea urchins, clams — just about everything you can imagine, much of it packed on ice (though it was a chilly day when we visited).
The following video-clips give you a feeling for what the market is like, although on viewing them now they seem “tamer” than what I recall.
The market is situated behind the Piazza del Duomo and spreads over a number of blocks. Some of the vendors have covered stalls, some are open-air. The market is held Monday to Saturday starting just after dawn and running until around 2 pm.
Here’s some of what we saw during two visits to La Pescheria:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)
MEAT AND THE REST: