25 October 2008

Pile of savings


Anyone who has spent time in Italy is familiar with the mercato settimanale, weekly market. Ascoli Piceno, as with many larger cities, has this unique event twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The vendors who travel to several areas towns during the week usually start to set-up around 8:30 AM in several locations of the centro storico. On a day with good weather the mercato will be full of people, on dreary days you will hear the vendors complain about lack of customers. We are familiar with several vendors and a little bartering is always welcome sport.

Valerie misses the greater variety of food vendors we had access to when we lived in Anzio and many of the clothing vendors carry cheap stuff from China. There are a couple locals who set up the bancarelle, tables, and pile them high with last season, used or manufacturer rejected items. These are simple piles of coats, jeans, linens or shirts…all for one price. These are my favorite places in the mercato, always the place to find good quality at a bargain price. I recently bought a full-size Scottish wool blanket for 5 euro, a couple Italian made dress shirts for 5 euro each and most recently with the coming of winter a wool scarf for 2 euro.

You have to do a little digging and be opportunistic in venturing to the bancarelle but many times you find a little jewel amongst the piles that make for those little triumphs in life.


Irreverent Italy said...

Ascoli Piceno is my absolute favorite place in Italy...what a gem of a town! Complimented, of course by those olive ascolane...you can't eat just one.
Thought since you're expats you might get a kick out of my blog,
Burnt by the Tuscan Sun... (not to rain on your parade...!)

Bryan said...

The only way I'll eat olives...olive ascolane. Nothing like stuffing it with some meat and fried and washed down with some Rosso Piceno.