La Vucciria

March 9, 2009 / Food & Wine
vucciriaExploring the side streets and food markets in Italy is one way to get a feel for Italian daily life. And where better to start than the Vucciria market in Palermo where alongside displays of fresh seasonal fish, meat, fruit and vegetables there is the banter of the vendors who breathe life into this historic setting.

vucciriaVucciria in Sicilian means a bustle, racket, or chaos, and today the vucciria of shouting voices is certainly one of the elements that characterize this market! This pandemonium (of the good kind!) is an entertaining backdrop to a stage of culinary delights, such as freshly caught and prepared octopus served by a father and son team in the middle of the main piazza. As they dish out plates of succulent octopus, their voices can often be overheard recounting stories of the market which was principally fish focused in the past earning the Palermitano saying e balati ra Vucciria ‘un s’asciucanu mai (the ground/pavement at the Vucciria never dries).

What better way to start your adventure in Palermo than with polpo bollito con limone? (Boiled octopus with lemon)


Contributed by Gina Tringali, who works for the Rome office of Context Travel and is currently obtaining a Masters in the History and Culture of Food and Wine at the Universit√° degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”.

5 Responses to “La Vucciria”

  1. Wow what a fab market…and just look at those tomatoes. I haven’t been to Palermo but to Cantania…was only for a week but very enjoyable!

    I would certainly try some to the delicious Octopus!! :-)

  2. Margie

    Living in the US, I so miss these kinds of open air markets. It’s just not the same going shopping at a “Super Wal-Mart”!. Thank you for giving me a lovely nostalgic moment.

  3. When visiting Palermo this market was the highlight of our day, we would buy the octopus and other delights so that we could have a picnic lunch with a good bottle of wine. Wish we had some now.


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