Category
Italian Experience
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Leghorn foodstuffs market

Leghorn covered foodstuffs market is one of the most beautiful in Europe. It is also one of my father-in-law’s favourite touristic attractions, when he’s on vacation, and since I do not like basking in the sun too long, I often volunteer to go with him to do the shopping.


The market is in a building of great charm, made of iron and glass, dating back to the Belle Époque, and located along Leghorn "royal moat", which was part of the old fortifications built by the Medicis. Thanks to the famous Leghorn Laws, issued by king Ferdinand I in 1590, offering free accommodation and workshop to anyone wishing to start a business, Leghorn has been a free port for centuries, a haven of civil coexistence and tolerance, where all major ethnic and religious communities have found shelter, a city that has never built a ghetto for its large Jewish population.


The market recalls, for its beauty and for the amount of goods on display, the famous Boqueria market in Barcelona. The vast area which can be accessed from the main hall is reserved for fish, while the side and rear entrances lead to a large hall with high metal trusses, where fruit and vegetables stalls can be found as well as groceries and butcher shops. For those who, like me, live in Emilia, prices seem very reasonable. As usual, we buy an awful amount of food. It is true, though, that on vacation there are often many guests at the table, including our children, who come to visit with their friends.

In the afternoon I am going to come back to Leghorn and walk around the area of Pancaldi Bathing Establishments, the first built in masonry in Italy. I am also going to take some pictures of the Art Nouveau buildings on the waterfront. I suddenly remember that we bought fish to be cooked on the barbecue and I have the "honor" of being the "main stoker"... My photo tour of Leghorn will have to wait a little longer...