Mercato Orientale – Genova – Italy

Genoa has its city market placed right in the heart of the city, you can access it from the main road – Via XX Settembre – and in any season you can be sure you’ll find different things on the stalls.

Mercato Orientale was officially “born” in 1899 and since then is the most important city market!

When you enter from the main entrance, it’s like crossing a magic door as you arrive into a different world, you leave behind cars and gray noise and you face so many colours, so many voices and you can smell spices and fish, fruit and garlic.

You go back in time!

The fish stalls are definitely my favourite ones!

Every day there is something different, depending on what was fished during the night!

(Don’t buy fish on Mondays: fishermen rest on Sundays!)

I love that!

I’ve learned how to know if a fish is fresh by looking at its eyes, at the colour or at the gills, but to help me out I have my trustworthy fishmonger!

The market is concentric, so you can walk around and you will end up where you started. You can look around, compare prices, smell things and decide where you like to buy most.

The market has everything you may need: fish, veggies and also meat, cheese, bread, focaccia, ravioli – there are even stalls fully dedicated to spices!

One of the most beautiful things is that the market is “alive”: it changes when the seasons change, it has mushrooms in Autumn, mandarins in Winter, strawberries in Spring and cherries in Summer, but it also change every day depending of what was fished, what arrived fresh…

If you are in town walking around, take a break from your shopping and have a look at this old market and I can assure you that you will be tempted to buy at least a piece of focaccia, or some fresh Parmesan cheese, or some sweet apricots!

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