Delight your senses and taste buds in the streets of Palermo with this selection of the 6 most beautiful markets in Palermo!
- 1. Ballaro Market
- 2. The Vucciria market
- 3. Il Capo Market
- 4. Flea Market
- 5. The Borgo Vecchio
- 6. The Lattarini market
It was Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman of course before passing into the hands of the Byzantines then under Muslim and even Norman domination. And it’s not over, since the Holy Germanic Empire settled there as well as the Bourbons and the Spaniards.
Palermo is the whole history of the Mediterranean united in a single city. And what better places to experience local life and Sicilian crossbreeding than the markets? It is certainly an experience not to be missed because the atmosphere is incredible, not to mention the many delicacies that can be found there.
And to make you want to include them even more in your visit program, here is our selection of the 6 most beautiful markets in Palermo.
1. Ballaro Market
Market days: Monday to Sunday
Type of market: food from Monday to Saturday, flea markets and antiques on Sunday
Let’s start with the oldest market in Palermo but also the biggest. He settles down every day along the via of the same name, crosses pretty squares with Baroque churches, such as Casa Professa or Piazza Carmine. Wandering among the stalls is a multi-sensory experience that begins with vendors chanting the quality of their wares and their attractive prices.
In addition, some stands offer to taste dishes on site such as:
- Panelle , chickpea flour donuts;
- Parmigiana which is an aubergine gratin ;
You will also find all along the via small inns appreciated by locals and young people who sip Birra Forst.
On Sunday morning, the flea market and antique stands take place!
2. The Vucciria market
Market days: all week
Type of market: food and flea markets
It is an atypical place where this market is held in Palermo. If you spend the night there on a weekend, there is a good chance that you will find yourself in the middle of a young DJ’s set. The streets around have, for their part, ghostly airs with their facades which have kept the scars of the Second World War.
The market can also be confusing because it is very small and there are not a lot of stalls like in Ballaro. Surprisingly, the name Vucciria comes from the French “boucherie” in reference to the primary activity of the market, a slaughterhouse, but who can be reassured, no longer exists. Today, you will certainly come across swordfish, fruit and vegetables, meat and a few chips.
But above all, the Vucciria market is the perfect place to taste some local street-food traditions .
Among these, boiled octopus, crocchè , raschiature literally “frying leftovers”, or Rocky’s milza which is a sandwich made of offal.
You have been warned to live this experience!
3. Il Capo Market
Market days: every day, Sunday is quieter
Type of market: food and crafts
Although it does not specialize in this commodity, this market in Palermo is known for its fish. So it’s time to take stock of the freshness of this scaly dish. Because yes, you will find freshly caught fish there, but also “older” ones.
Now, if seafood isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, the colorful fruit, vegetable and olive stalls are there. There are also spice stalls that recall the medieval origins of the market when Sicily was dominated by the Arab-Muslim Empire.
Near the entrance to Porte Carini, there are Sicilian street food vendors with croquettes and fried eggplant. In general, the products are deemed cheaper than in other markets such as Vucciria.
4. Flea Market
Market days: every day, even on public holidays
Type of market: flea market
You inevitably pass at one time or another near this market in Palermo since it is at the foot of the cathedral. More precisely, it goes from Piazza Peranni to Piazza Papiretto.
Here the stands are more or less permanent to house vintage, antique or reproduced furniture, trinkets and other objects. You also find some antique shops. Here, the key word is really to hunt around to unearth something in this joyful bric-a-brac.
You are not alone either because the market is popular with tourists who hope to find a nice souvenir to bring back in their suitcase.
5. The Borgo Vecchio
Market days: every day in the morning
Type of market: food
It is part of the historical markets of Palermo. Paying a visit is an opportunity to discover an unknown part of the city because it is outside the traditional historic center. The cause ? Its construction coincides with the development of a new port in the 16th century.
Like all the old markets of the city, it has its origins in the Arab-Muslim occupation and we find there, even today, the North African influence. There are fruits, vegetables, meat and fish as well as spices of course.
But his interest is also to observe local life in a working-class neighborhood off the beaten track. In addition to the stalls, the streets have kept their traditional craft stalls far from the tourist gentrification of the old center. Here you can feel the real life of the Sicilians, not always romantic but not devoid of interest either.
6. The Lattarini market
Market days: every day
Type of market: textiles, haberdashery
The name of this market in Palermo comes from the Arabic “Souk el attarin”. Located in the Kalsa district between Vucciria and Ballaro, it specialized in spices.
Today, his vocation has changed in favor of haberdashery. Rope, thread, wool, embroidery cotton, buttons, you are bound to find what you are looking for here. Do-it-yourselfers can buy work overalls, rubber boots and even professional overalls there. There is also a corner for street clothes like jeans and other knitwear.
It’s a great opportunity to discover another facet of the markets of Palermo.