Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Vucciria Market

You know I have been reading Midnight in Sicily*. Yesterday, I was able to place some of the landmarks mentioned in this book. The Vucciria is the most famous market in Palermo. It is situated in the Caracciolo Square and along the narrow roads in the Loggia district. It dates back to the 11th century. I read where it started as a meat market..developing into one that sells fruit, vegetables and fish. Renato Guttuso a famous Sicilian artist from Bagheria painted La Vucciria promoting more interest in this market. Here is Guttuso's painting and also my photo. If you look close ..you can see the baby eggplant presented like eggs in a carton.

It is still offering fruit and vegetables, stalls selling spices, Panelle and fish. Vendors claim the market is not one tenth of the size it was in its heyday. Monday is not a good day for selling fish, so we did not get to see any of these shops.
We did come across a man selling Tuna fish eggs. This stuff was selling for €100. per kilo. This is the sack that contains the fish eggs.

The author of Midnight in Sicily writes about this area. He also mentioned sitting in a Trattoria high above the street where he could look down at its activity. I wonder if this is the same place that we saw.

I got to try my first panelle and a delicious shaved veal sandwich, fast food Palermo style. The panelle and the veal were saturated in oil. One being deep fried and the other splashed with oil. It was delicious just the same.


Anonymous said...

This was great to see and read. There has been much written about the Vucciria and I was just reading an article stating that the market was dying and would be gone in ten years or so. It was very sad to read.

And I had never seen the famous Guttuso painting so thank you for that as well.

Lucy from Toronto said...

I remember getting panelle at the Belvedere in Termini Imerese from a vendor cart. It was delicious.