We met at the bus stop in Cortona to take a trip to the Thursday Market in the town of Camucia, down in the valley.
It was a burstingly fresh Spring day, and was hard to fathom that the town was covered in snow a week earlier. I was excited to be going to another Italian market and buying some oh so fresh veggies, and any other must-have item.
We wound down the meandering road to the main street in Camucia and made our way towards the bustle of the market. The first stalls I happened upon were full of amazingly fresh vegetables. I had to stop myself from getting carried away. That was only after being reminded that the market was large, and I had lots more to explore before I should commit to buying anything.
That was smart, especially after realizing I would have to lug my purchases around all morning before getting back on the bus.
So, from what I can gather, a weekly Market happens in almost every sizable town around Italy. it is filled with the things you would expect to find at a local, open-air market; fresh produce like vegetables, meat, fish, cheeses, and plants.
What I didn’t realize, and was not prepared for, was the vast selection of clothing, (new and old), footwear, from slippers to trendy leather boots, kitchen equipment galore, household items like curtains, even a whole booth or two dedicated to sewing tools, and other haberdashery.
A new acquaintance of mine informed me that the Italian “Market” was the equivalent to a big-box store in the United States. A place to buy thing cheap, conveniently located at the same time and place each week.
I must admit to getting caught up in the hunt for a good bargain. I walked the market with my kids, my man and another new friend.
At every turn, we were offered samples of this and that. These samples were not like the miniscule tidbits handed out where I come from. If you wanted to sample a piece of cheese, a giant hunk was lopped from a wheel or wedge, and thrust into your hands. You could literally walk this market and be full by the time you left!
I managed to weigh my bags down with lots of fruit and vegetables. I also treated myself to a little rolling-pin, and a heavy-duty chopping board. Dave bought a sweat shirt which sported the name of a local soccer team on the back, while a couple more in our party also found ridiculously good bargains at the various clothing stalls.
It was a very fun way to spend the morning, and get to know a little more about Italian life. I better watch out, I could get use to this.