If you are expecting a Mercato or market similar to Barcelona’s famous one just off Las Ramblas, you might be in for a little disappointment; however Genoa’s Mercato Orientale has enough to make any photographer pull out their camera. It’s easy to locate with its main entrance on Via XX Settembre (about a 10 minute walk from Piazza de Ferrari) where racks of flowers sit on the sidewalk and the torn green awnings flap in the wind, over the former cloister’s arched doors. The main venders sell fruit and vegetables with a few fish, meat, cheese, flowers and spice shops interspersed. Whatever is in season will be artistically stacked in pyramids of color or neat rolls just begging to be bought. The best time to visit is in the morning when the fish are still jumping and the aroma of fresh basil is pungent. Many Genovese consider this market a bit overpriced but with good produce, once you get to know the vendors! A few things to keep in mind: Watch your belongings and your money. If you wish to purchase some fruit or vegetables first watch how the transaction occurs with other costumers. Most vendors don’t want you touching their fruit! (Plastic gloves are provided in the produce section of all Genovese grocery stories, so you don’t touch the fruit and veggies!) Check your produce before you leave, as some vendors who pick out your produce for you, may not give you the nicest pieces! Also check your change; the Genovese are known for short changing everyone, not just tourists! Finally, enjoy the market; its fun and a little slice of life in Genoa!
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