Pictures from an Outdoor Market in Puglia

  • On another “page,” I’m a contributor for a new cross-border book blog, Readers Without Borders that is starting out as a bunch of expats in different countries talking about books! Who knows which direction it will take. Come on over, check out the other reviews and add your own! I hope to get some good recommendations and indulge in my reading side which I don’t give much airtime to here.

Training away for the Weekend. That is, as in a train you ride.

We spontaneously decided to head down to Puglia this weekend on Friday afternoon through a series of random phone calls and chat conversations. “Do you want to go?” “Ok, make sure we have a reservation – I’m not standing all night!” “Ok, let’s go!” “I got tickets!”

We almost spent more time on the trains this weekend than off, but it was a lot of fun. We arrived super-early Saturday morning and it was already a beautiful day. I snapped this picture as we were on the way to the market, hoping to get closer to the seafront later.

Sunny February

Carnevale, or carnival leading up to Marted� Grasso – Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday is pretty big in Manfredonia, and they have three weekends of parades and parties. The most well-known parade is the sfilata dei bambini, of the little children which was the previous week. I’ll talk more about that in another post.

Manfredonia’s mercato is one of my favorite things about it – the Wednesday market is huge and some great deals can be had like my current favorite jacket, a teal-blue wool with a fake-fur trimmed hood. For the wonderful price of �6. Yes, you read right. Saturday’s market is much smaller but still enjoyable, and I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of local characters there.

Colors, colors

Arranging the veggies

Sante and I were struck by three men preparing fish to be sold, each of them with a cigarette hanging off their lips. I guess you can’t blame them for trying to keep their minds off the cold, but you have to hope you don’t have any “extras” in your daily purchase.

A cigarette to keep the ice away

Another scene at the market – this boy is rocking this huge blue container full of…frozen fish – you can see that the metal rods curve like a rocking chair. This looks cool but it’s not really a sight you want to see so often near your fresh fish seller as it means he may be selling you fresh fish that is not fresh. The “good” sellers even have mechanized rockers so that a person doesn’t have to do it.

Rocking away the ice

This is a typical scene in Manfredonia – in the oldest part of town, the streets are pretty narrow and many of the ground floor apartments open up directly onto the sidewalk. It’s a space for people to gather and chat, and especially for older members of the family to sit on their favorite chair and watch the world go by. As you walk by, you might glimpse a family eating dinner, watching television, or another occupant staring back at you and watching you go by. There was an old man sitting with his cane and oxygen tank watching everyone walk by and I didn’t feel like taking a picture of him.

Waiting to wait

Maybe it will sell, maybe it won't

There was even a Pinocchio Eggplant there waiting to be bought.

Pinocchio Eggplant


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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing these inviting scenes; my husband and I, who grew up in Italian families, can’t wait to visit Italy. I adore our farmers’ markets in Southern CA, but I can only imagine how fabulous yours must be!

    I just love your site and will be back soon!

  2. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Sognatrice/NYC, I chose Pinocchio since it’s such a well-recognized symbol in our culture. And it’s not that other, well-recognized symbol in our culture. Hahah.

    Shelley – the cigarettes didn’t really phase me…ack, I’m acclimating! but I thought it was funny.

    Susan, welcome!! I’m sure farmers markets are good down in SoCal but do they have these characters? That’s your challenge – take some pics and show me! :)

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