In Palermo’s historic markets, Vucciria, Capo, Ballarò, you breathe in the deep essence of the city, made up of contrasts and oddities, Arab roots, a Catholic spirit mixed with a certain popular paganism, dirt and spices, Baroque style and poverty. The “putie” outside are shaded by drapings faded and inside are decorated with golden chandeliers and fake crystals, to imitate those found in palaces. On the walls are photos showing saints and madonnas, similar to those found normally today, such as singers and Palermo’s famous footballers. Remaining are the market stalls full of fruits and vegetables lovingly arranged, from the benches with olives with their scent to stimulate the appetite, spices of all kinds that recall the charm of Arab souks, bags full of saffron, raisins and pine nuts, cinnamon and bunches of oregano that ooze their characteristic aroma.
In the markets you can feel the Palermo of the past and the Palermo of today, you can hear an almost incomprehensible dialect, it is the people going shopping and trying to save money. Sellers are often welcoming and eager to display their wares, but can not bear their fruit being continually probed by the hands of customers. You may be struck by the confusion and chaos that reigns in the markets, but you must visit them, and discovering them is an experience not to be missed out on if you really want to get in contact with the real spirit of the city.
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