Palermo market tours: history and curiosity

Palermo market tours

The markets of Palermo are the perfect place for an authentic taste of the past and traditions of Palermo life, beside abandoned neighbourhoods and palaces left in ruins, full of long-lost memories, walking through dilapidated doorways, emblematic of the divide between past and present, history and existence, or along streets and alleyways where the smell of the sea guides you. The four most important and historical markets of Palermo are: the Vucciria, the Capo, the Borgo Vecchio and Ballarò, in the heart of the city.

The Vucciria is the oldest market in Palermo and began as a meat shop, once upon a time all within an arcade, it is now all in the open air, with its bounty (meats, fish, fruit) all presented on traditional stalls on special marble slabs. Weaving through the tight alleyways and little piazzas of the Vucciria you can find all the ingredients of Sicilian cuisine.

The Capo is a well-known market in a quarter popular with locals, established by the Muslim population, beyond the Corso del Papireto, which was inhabited by the ‘Schiavoni’, the pirate traders of slaves. Also here you can find super fresh meat and fish.

palermo market tours

Used every day by hundreds of people of all races, the Ballarò market is animated by the noisy calls of the sellers who, with their characteristic and colourful local accent, try to attract the interest of passers-by. Staying open also in the afternoon, those returning home will visit the market to buy cooked foods typical of Palermo, including boiled and baked onions, chickpea flour ‘panelle’, ‘cazilli’ (potato croquettes), boiled vegetables, octopus and ‘quarume’ (veal entrails).

Palermo is one of the most frenetic and lively cities in Sicily, offering you a range of night-time entertainment in exotic settings. One of the busiest hangouts is the area around the Borgo Vecchio market. This market is the only one to stay open late into the evening, attracting young people who meet and begin their evening there.

Have you ever heard of Street Food? In the markets of Palermo you will find plenty of this! Literally, Street Food is the art of eating traditional food and local specialities, on the street, often on your feet.

Why Street Food?

Street Food is characterised by 3 elements: it’s cheap, it’s fast, and you can find it on every street corner of the city. Besides in restaurants and in traditional trattorias, you can also get a taste of the city by eating from these kiosks and stalls at the market, village festivals and other places, frequented by tourists, perhaps just a short walk from a museum or another must-see sight.

palermo market tours

Further to this, street food reflects the local food and historical heritage. It is undoubtedly closely connected to the traditions of its territory and somehow tells the story of the culture of its people.

We propose to you a gastronomic walking tour of 4 hours in the marvellous streets of Palermo, global capital of Street Food.

The tour will take place in the local markets and historical piazzas of the city, giving you the chance to taste the best Sicilian produce.

You will taste 5 different street foods, including ‘sfincione’, chickpea flour ‘panelle’, ‘crocche’, ‘arancini’ fried rice balls and bread with spleen. And then the sweet? The wonderful Sicilian ‘cannolo’. During this gastronomic tour you will also have the chance to see the city and its attractions, as we will pass on our walk Piazza Verdi, the Capo market, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Saint Agostino market, Vucciria market, the ‘Quattro Canti’ and the Ballarò market.