It’s nearly been a year since I arrived in Italy and shopping at the open air markets has become one of my favorite things to do. Each town or “commune” has their own market and they’re usually held on a different day of a week. You can find everything from: fresh produce, cheese, fish, clothing, shoes, housewares, fabric, and flowers.
The Sacile market is one of the bigger markets held in the Aviano area and it takes place on Thursday mornings from about 8 a.m. – 12:30. It is held near the city center and winds around various streets and is very picturesque as parts of it is on the Livensa River.
The produce is all farm fresh and the fish, cheese and other food products generally come from the local region. The markets are also a great place to purchase Italian made products from handbags, shoes (leather), clothing (I love the scarves), and some of the household goods. You will find items made in other places like the PRC but you can generally tell the quality apart.
Today I purchased some delicious blood oranges and a few novelty “carnevale” toy items I’ll use as props for my son’s upcoming birthday party. I had to fight the urge to purchase yet another scarf (even though I really liked it.)
When you need a break from shopping I highly recommend stopping at one of the many local cafes and enjoying a latte or cappuccino or even a Spritz.
Things to remember when shopping at the markets:
- Bring Euros (if possible in small denominations). Some vendors may accept credit cards, but I’ve never seen one.
- When purchasing produce: It is considered uncouth to handle the fruits and vegetables. Don’t be surprised if you’re chastised by an old lady if you touch it with your bare hands. Many of the vendors will offer samples of their products esp for in season fruit or cheese. If you’re unsure you’ll like an item, don’t be shy to ask for a small taste.
- It generally is a good idea to ask for assistance when you wish to purchase an item.
- The number one on hand written signs to an American will sort of resemble an upside down V. Decimal points are not used in it’s place you’ll find a comma.
- ALWAYS get your receipt as you can be stopped by an Italian Guard of Finance and asked to furnish a receipt. I’ve never seen it happen at an open air market, but I’ve seen them at other commercial stores. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sacile is a town and comune in the province of Pordenone, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-east Italy. It is known as the “Garden of the Serenissima” after the many palaces that were constructed along the river Livenza for the nobility of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.
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