Who says that Italian food markets aren’t cool?

Today there is a strong tendency to look for the authentic flavors of the places we visit. Tourists search for Italy’s identity in its food, and in the Italian food markets, you can find the culinary excellence of finger food and authentic street food, and the flavor is guaranteed.

Here is a short list of the most famous and popular Italian food market from north to south.

Mercato di Rialto – Venice

This Venetian fish market is located in one of the oldest areas of the city, the Rialto Bridge, on the west bank of the Grand Canal. It is set in an evocative arcade that, in the 16th century, was a meeting place and international trade: fruit and vegetables, but also precious oriental spices, were sold among the market stalls. Today the market of Rialto, the food market of Venice, has not lost its appeal, and it continues to attract residents and tourists who come to browse and buy fresh fruit and fish.

A curious fact: hanging on the walls of the historical building of the Pescheria (Fish Market), engraved in marble, you can read the laws of the Serenissima regarding the measurements of the fish to be sold at the market. Around the Rialto market, you will find butcher shops and the Venetian Bacari, characteristic wine bars where you can stop and enjoy a cicheto with an excellent spritz.

There is no better opportunity to discover the true soul of Venice and immerse yourself in the characteristic atmosphere of the city’s markets! Take a look at our tours and dive into the culinary culture of the city!

Mercato Centrale – Rome and Florence

The Mercato Centrale is a recent format, but it is no less interesting or appetizing than other, more historical, markets. The cities of Florence and Rome are home to these gourmet food markets that welcome a passionate and curious public on a daily basis, offering the best of the culinary “Made in Italy”. The Mercato Centrale of Rome is located in the Termini station, the transport hub of the capital. Here, food lovers will find 1500 square meters, seating for 500, 20 artisanal shops, and a restaurant. It’s a large space dedicated to gastronomic excellence and open to all. The Mercato Centrale of Florence opened in 2014 in one of the most noteworthy places in the city, the covered market of San Lorenzo. Meat, fish, bread, pastries, wine: just some of what you can find in the many shops where you can taste the best local (and not local) cuisine.

Mercato Testaccio – Rome

Among the Roman food markets, the Testaccio Market is a landmark for both for the city and tourists: the Testaccio Market in Rome is an epicurean oasis located in the neighborhood of the same name, with a dynamic and authentic soul. The Testaccio Market amazes with its variety: tasty street food, interesting dishes, fresh raw ingredients. It’s the perfect place in Rome to discover traditional culinary specialties and to buy fresh groceries.

Curious fact: the Testaccio district owes its name to the mountain of earthenware shards, or cocci, formed following the accumulation of Roman amphorae brought into the city by the currents of the Tiber river.

In 2012 the remodeling of the market was entrusted to the architect Marco Rietti, who gave a new style to the structure, which is now minimal and geometric. The reopening of the market has led many Italian starred chefs to propose regional specialties and quick snacks in a gourmet key: street food, yes, but of the highest quality!

In Rome, you can spend a holiday dedicated to the history of the city and its traditional cuisine. Have you already looked at our Roman tours? It’s always the right time to be surprised by the charm of the Eternal City!

Mercato di Ballarò – Palermo

Located in the historic center of Palermo, the Ballarò Market is pure magic. From the first light of dawn, this historic market in Palermo comes alive with colorful and boisterous stalls, while in the evening it teems with young people who meet there for a drink or two. Ballarò takes its name from Bahlara, the village in  Monreale where the Arab merchants who originally brought life to the Sicilian market came from.

Inside the Ballarò Market, one of the most characteristic Italian food markets, there are some of the most beautiful monuments of the city of Palermo: walking through the streets you can see the Church of Jesus, the Church of Carmine Maggiore, but also the Monumental Complex of Santa Chiara and the Medieval Tower of San Nicolò.

A trip to the market is mandatory if you want to discover the typical and distinctive flavors of the Sicilian cuisine: it’s impossible to resist a succulent arancino prepared according to tradition! And what about the panelle (dumplings made with chickpea flour), or the crocchè or the famous panino con la meusa (sandwich with spleen). Don’t be put off by the names, your taste buds will thank you! At Ballarò Market there is no shortage of opportunities to discover the flavors of this land!

Curious to discover Sicily and its culinary traditions? Trust Dragonfly Tours to help you discover the timeless beauty and scents of an incredible land, you will lose yourself in the myth of the city of Palermo.