Last summer, I spent two weeks in Italy. I first did a stop in Bologna, Thomas’s hometown, and a couple of days later we rent a car and head to explore the south of Tuscany. Both of us had already been in Firenze, Pisa and Siena so this time we wanted to go into another area of the region, the one with lovely villages surrounded by sunflower fields and cypresses paths. These are the famous areas of Val d’Orcia and Chianti.
During our first stage in Tuscany we stayed a few days in Cortona, an Etruscan hill town with a very special charm. It’s a place full of life, with beautiful stores and narrow alleys (or vicoli as Italians called it) and there is plenty to shoot. We were very lucky that the weekly open market was taking place during our visit. I love so much local markets that each time I travel I always try to visit one.
As soon as I arrived to the piazza, I was fascinated by the vibrant colours of fruits and vegetables and specially by their scent. I could not resist buying some of the colourful plums. There were different cold cuts hanged at the stalls. These meats are very traditional in Tuscany such as pancetta, finocchiona (a cured spicy sausage with fennel) or the Tuscan prosciutto, which is not very greasy and seasoned with pepper.
Also, there were stalls full of very particular cheeses. The main one in Tuscany is “pecorino” and Tuscans eat it in so many and tasty ways: fresh, cured in a cave, stocked in walnut leaves… all so good!
No doubt this market is a pure joy for all senses!
The market takes places on Saturday mornings from 8am to 2pm at Piazza Signorelli, right in the center of Cortona. If you’re in town and you want to go, my advice is to visit it early in order to enjoy a less crowded market.
Photograhy: Carlota Fariña
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