Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catania's Street Markets

As we walked towards the Fontana dell'Amenano in Piazza del Duomo we could hear the frenzied cries of the fishmongers selling their catch of the day. We took the steps down the left hand side of the fountain and had this view of the market below.

Catania’s characteristic fish market Mercato della Pescheria glows with sights, sounds and strong smells. Red tarpaulins suspended as tents and colourful umbrellas protect the wares from the elements. Each fishmonger has a table selling different selections of fish, freshly caught that morning: swordfish, cuttlefish, tuna, eels, sardines, ray, lobsters, clams, octopi, squid and more.

With arms flailing, voices raised and chanting slogans, the fishmongers attract and negotiate with customers. The meat vendors sell all kinds of meat. I couldn’t look at the carcasses of lambs and goats hanging upside down as they were quite gruesome.

Further down the street are the colourful stalls of vegetables and nuts and fruit, everything perfectly fresh, seasonal and of high quality. My favourite is the sweet Sicilian Tarocco blood orange. You can taste samples of the wonderful Sicilian cheeses on Via Pardo; peppery aged Pecorino, Caciocavallo, Ragusano and Provola - all were delicious.
The Catania market is crowded and chaotic, not polished like other markets I’ve visited on mainland Italy but more traditional, more authentic and more real. Things haven’t changed here for decades.

A second market can be found at the end of Via Etnea in Piazza Carlo Alberto. Dozens of vendors sell clothes, bags, jewellery and household items as well as food at affordable prices.

The market in Catania is great place to soak up the local electric atmosphere and is an unforgettable experience for all of your senses!

Open Monday to Saturday 8am - 2pm.


  1. Thank you very much, Nora, for this vivid and colorful scan of Sicily. Waiting for your next posts about this fabulous land!

  2. Thank you Tatiana. I will be writing about the Easter Week Processions in Ragusa next...