I use shopping in a local street market for many reasons when visiting Italy:
| credit for this photo from the|
web site http://www.lamescolanza.com/mercatini/puglia.htm.
2. feel like a local (if you don't speak)
3. learn first hand what kitchen tools are used, what fashions are most popular
4. listening to the other shoppers
5. to replace an item I lost while traveling, forgot to bring with me or as I prefer to do, replace throw away clothes... I bring old items and discard them along the way. Sometimes I will leave them in a hotel room: tote bags, good handbags and other times I have put most of my clothes in a donation box prior to flying home
It is cheaper than the extra luggage fees at the airport and now I have room for Italian treasures....
On a previous trip I was given a discount on a purchase and was told by the vendor 'when you return, you have a cafe'. This year I returned and in the pouring rain visited him at his stall. I am sure he did not remember me and since I had only been in Italy 4 days my 'remembered Italian' was very poor. But he understood why I was there and trying to repay his kindness. Italians may think I am odd or pazzo, but encounters such as these make my trips memorable.
So much to see and learn from a street market
For a link to the market through out Italy and more on the art of 'market negotiations' see my post on http://www.hometoitaly.com
What is the strangest item you have ever bought in a street market?