Shopping… al fresco!

Italians have perfected the art of shopping al fresco. By that I am referring to the time-consuming, but thoroughly enjoyable, outdoor shopping (fig. 1) which is so common in Italian piazza and streets. Daily mercatini set up in local squares and around towns and small villages where the mobile shops often fulfill the needs of local people perhaps lacking desirable or fashionable clothing choices (fig. 2). So, what to buy then? From shoes all’ ultima moda (fig. 3) to casual, summer or seasonal clothing (figs. 4,5), it’s all there – for the right price, of course! Obviously, in Italy, food is always a priority and the available choices (fig. 6) can be mesmerizing. Fruits and vegetables are a very critical part of the Italian diet and nothing can be as important for an experienced housewife as having the “right” connection with a vendor (figs. 7,8) capable of supplying fresh frutta e verdure! Art and antiquities are also exhibited (fig. 9), usually on Sundays at specialized markets. Unusual vendors are not uncommonly found, such as the “canary man” (fig. 10) or the one selling soap bubble-making tools (fig. 11). And, at the end of the day after long hours of undeterred shopping, what better than a focaccia con la mortadella to hold you down until dinner time (fig. 12)? Buon appetito!

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