Today, I decided to take my daily walk to the center of town, where Catania’s open-air
market is held every day until 1 p.m. The market is about a mile/mile and a half from my apartment. Catania’s streets are a challenge for motorists and pedestrians alike. Everyone seems to have their own rules so it’s best to stay focused.
I found the market easy enough, thanks to directions from Giuseppe and a good map of the city. It takes up several blocks in the center of the city, engulfing surrounding retail establishments and closing streets. I estimate there were at least 400 stalls set up on the sidewalks and in the streets, with narrow walkways between the rows for pedestrians. There were thousands of people shopping.
You can buy almost anything at the market, for much less than in the stores. I was looking for some bath towels, bigger sheets for my new bed, a throw rug or two, and a cutting board. Found the sheets and a throw rug for the bathroom but never saw any towels or cutting boards. Also bought a pair of house slipps for 2 euro (the stone floors in my apartment are cold).
There were, however, ample stalls selling women’s boots – Italian women HAVE to have their boots. There were rows of stalls selling men’s and women’s clothing – everything from slacks to blouses to pullovers to longerie to ladies leggings to men’s shoes to belts. Some stalls offered pots and pans and other kitchen needs (but no cutting boards). Others were selling reams of fabric.
The largest area was reserved for the food stalls. The rosso (red) cauliflower seems to
grow well here and was well represented by huge heads. Several stalls specialized in specific vegetables, such as lettuce or zucchini. There were cheese stalls, vendors offering olives prepared in dozens of ways, and fresh seafood, cut for you on the spot.
After walking around a couple of times trying to find towels, I finally gave up with a headache from trying to negotiate the crowds.