September 11, 2013: Today is market day in Sesto Calende. On Wednesday mornings, they close down the streets in the centre of town and along the river and vendors comes from far and wide to display their wares. There is pretty much anything you can imagine. Clothing and shoes, household and hardware items, gardening supplies and flowers, textiles and yarns. And of course, food.
It’s not only an excuse to go shopping, it also seems to be one of the main social gatherings in town. Everyone comes out for the event, young and old alike. The cafes are packed and clusters of folks gather in the main square.
It’s incredible to see the displays that many of the vendors have. Big Mercedes trucks that have been converted into incredibly complex mobile shops complete with awnings that open at the push of a button, elaborate display cases and (at one stall) even a large rotisserie oven. These can’t be cheap. Business must be good.
I managed to scoop some great deals on clothes, drawn to the stalls with the best displays. But mostly I liked to wander around and take pictures of the incredible food, even though I had to restrain myself from buying much more than salami and fresh fruit.
By two o’clock the vendors are packing it in and by three the town is back to “normal”.
It seems that most of the larger towns in this part of northern Italy (and I’m sure many other areas too) host a market at least once a week, some bigger than others. It’s worthwhile to investigate when and where they are held.