Historical markets have always been located in the heart of urban centers because they are privileged places not only for the exchange of goods but also for the interaction of the community and for cultural integration. The centrality of their social function is reflected in their urban location. In Palermo we find them embedded in the urban fabric of the historic center: for example, inside the district of Albergheria we find Ballarò, inside the district the Loggia is the Vucciria and in the Monte di Pietà district we find the Capo market.
If you want to understand how the markets of Palermo work, you have to read A walk in the market.
Once it was the most characteristic market in Palermo, famous for its many fish vendors, even though the name “vucciria” comes from the French boucherie which means butcher’s shop, and in fact long abounded with flesh-like veal hanging out. Moreover, the characteristic of these markets is the display of the goods outside the shops, in plain sight. Today vucciria appears sadly empty by day with most of the shops now closed. However, it is still pleasant to walk the narrow streets around Piazza Caracciolo, all paved by the perennially wet “balate”.
In the evening, almost miraculously, the streets are crowded with young people who spend their evenings in the numerous clubs and pubs that animate the Palermo nightlife.
It is an active Palermo market. It extends along Via Carini and Beati Paoli, Via di S. Agostino and Via Cappuccinelle. One of the main entrances is that of Porta Carini, near the Palace of Justice. The entrance is narrow but the passage is very narrow due to the stalls that crowd the market. You can find everything: fruit and vegetables of every kind, fresh and even less fresh fish (you have to know it), butchers and occasional sellers of all ethnic groups. All exposed outside the shops and covered by the characteristic colored awnings that shelter from the sun and the rare rains. The characteristic smells and fragrances are joined by the typical voices of the sellers (abbanniate) who invite you to buy the goods.
The Ballarò Market
It is undoubtedly the oldest and most characteristic historical market in Palermo. It extends from the Corso Tukory (Porta Sant’Agata along the ancient ramparts) to Casa Professa. It winds along several streets, all paved with often bumpy and always wet balates, with the crucial center of Piazza del Carmine with the homonymous baroque church. In reality it is difficult to distinguish the square because of the obligatory paths designed by the sellers who place the merchandise neatly on wooden boxes and marble balates. The disposition of the goods is already a beautiful and good art with straws impaled on each product to indicate the prices: strictly rounded down to hundredths that look like zeros but are of the nine. You can really find everything and there are plenty of street food spots where you can enjoy all sorts of street food in Palermo and, ultimately, in a cosmopolitan environment. A trip among the flavors, colors, smells, sounds and noises of a multi-ethnic and suggestive Palermo.
The flea market
Become a major tourist attraction is located near the beautiful Cathedral of Palermo, between Piazza Peranni and Piazza del Papireto and is the center of Palermo’s antiques. Here we can find a series of permanent tin shacks, full of antique furniture, sometimes restored, paintings, furnishings and all sorts of things, a real attraction for tourists who find these ancient knick-knacks that are unique in their kind original.
Open every day from morning until sunset, including holidays.
It is one of the historic markets of Palermo, located in the Kalsa district, not far from the Vucciria market.
Typical market of small shops and stalls for the sale of embroidery wools and cottons, various work clothing such as suits, jeans, knitwear and military clothing, such as boots, rubber boots, gowns and professional uniforms, a real point of reference for the economic purchase of this variety of goods.
The fruit and vegetable market
It is the historic fruit and vegetable market of Palermo, commonly called “Scàro”.
Open since the early hours of the morning, it is the place where all the greengrocers and not only, come to buy fresh goods wholesale, a veritable riot of colors, voices and smells.