Market day

by Rebecca Bricker on June 2, 2013

Every Thursday, rain or shine, the residents of Tavarnelle show up at the town’s main piazza for market day.

It was raining on the Thursday of my recent stay in Tavarnelle, in the beautiful Chianti countryside. Under the cover of our umbrellas, my friend Gianna led me through the labyrinth of stalls.

We started at Alessandro’s fruit-and-vegetable stand. He filled and weighed bags of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus and flowering zucchini while Gianna told me how to prepare the flowers.

“You make with eggs – buono,” she said. “Cook for five minutes.”

“Two,” Alessandro chimed in.

“Two.” Gianna smiled.

We left our bags with Alessandro and headed to the cheese-and-meat truck. The big merchant trucks at these weekly markets are fully equipped with counters, canopies and freezer cases.









The cheese-and-meat truck was mobbed – everyone crowded together under umbrellas, calling out their orders. There was lots of chatter and laughter. This is the big social day of the week in Tavarnelle, so no one’s really in a hurry to go home.

I loved the Cheese Guy, who saw my camera and put on a show as he tackled a huge half-round of Parmigiano-Reggiano. First, he scored the cheese with a wire, then sank a big knife through the waxy coating. As the wheel diminished from half to quarter to eighth, he’d flip the sections in the air, while bantering with his captive audience.

I bought a little basket from the rattan furniture vendor that held my bouquet of zucchini flowers.

My luncheon feast that day…



<<< …a Sicilian melon, a blood orange, strawberries, focaccia and a piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cut with great flair.


Thom Parrott-Sheffer June 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I go to up to three markets a week, in the summer … none are as gorgeous as this one. Vive italiano! Should be a great dinner.

patrick bones June 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Looks and sounds like a wonderful time! What fun!!!

Patricia Lessard June 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Becky, I think it’s time to think about doing an Italian cookbook with your own photos and recipes!

Rebecca Bricker June 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

If I weren’t such a terrible cook that would be a great idea! Actually, I’m putting the final touches on a book of my Italian photographs – some have appeared here, but most have not yet been published. There will be some foodie photos, but not of my creations. šŸ˜‰

jackie lamothe June 7, 2013 at 2:57 am

Oh goodie: another book coming! Can’t wait.

Rebecca Bricker June 7, 2013 at 6:48 am

Just sending it off now – I should have a proof copy in a couple of weeks. It’s called “Impressions of Italy” – a compilation of many of my favorite photos of Italy with text that goes to the essence of why they’re my favorites. A fun project!

jackie mayo June 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

Thank you so much. Reading your blogs and impressions at the same time I was reading Inferno made Florence even more a reality. It has been many many years since I lived in Rome, but the memories of the whole country are still vivid. Molto gracie.

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