When in Rome... or anywhere else in Italy, for that matter... do as the locals do and pick up the best fresh produce at the mercato
Best for: A hive of activity every Wednesday morning, as stalls are set up dietro al porto (behind the port). Find olive oils, mozzarella and textiles alongside the famous Amalfi lemons and saccharine bottles of limoncello.
PIAZZA CAMPO DEL PALIO
Best for: One of the largest squares in Italy is a prime spot to pick up specialities from the Piedmont region. Chestnuts, Castelmagno cheese, foraged mushrooms and truffles are among local favourites.
Weds and Sat, 8am-1pm
Best for: Dig in to popizze (fried pizza dough balls), sgagliozze (salted polenta fritters) and panzerotti (dough balls stuffed with mozzarella and beef) at this energetic street-food market. Pair with a trip to Molo San Nicola, a nearby fish market held behind the ruins of the Margherita Theatre.
MERCATO DI MEZZO
Best for: On the ground floor you’ll find artisan bakeries alongside butchers and fishmongers, on the first floor, a cluster of pizzerias, street-food stalls and wine cellars, and in the basement, the craft brewery Baladin.
Florence MERCATO DI SANT’AMBROGIO
Best for: Slightly away from the main tourist drag in Piazza Ghiberti and less crowded than Mercato Central. Pick up cured meat finocchiona (fennel-studded salami).
Best for: Recco in Genoa is famous for being the birthplace of focaccia, which is sold from the stalls and bakeries that line the streets and alleyways. The focaccia at Piazzetta, 9 Nostra Signora del Suffragio, is our top pick.
Best for: Deemed to be the coolest market in Milan due to its eclectic mix of retro furniture, vintage clothes and refurbished bikes. Food stalls, DJs and a bar also occupy the industrial warehouse.
Best for: Milan’s premium flea market pitches up along both sides of the Navigli Grande canal on the first Sunday of each month. Delve through a veritable treasure trove of vintage vinyl, retro leather jackets and a huge array of refurbished furniture.
Best for: The oldest market in Naples owes its name to the last standing pine tree at its centre. A melting hub of market stalls, street-food vendors and traditional, tavernas, graze on fried alici (anchovies) served in brown paper cups as you stroll.
PORTA NOLANA FISH MARKET
Best for: Rarely visited by tourists, dive into Naples’ loud, chaotic and gritty fish market for the richest seafood offering. Be sure to pick up bacala (salted cod) and capitone fritto (eel), both commonly served up at Christmas Eve dinners. Mon-Sat, 8am–6pm; Sun 8am-2pm