I don't know what we did wrong with La Vucciria apart from obviously not get up early enough... we got there by ten a.m. which is clearly too late - I did find the guide books etc quite vague, the rough guide for example seems to imply the markets all open until at least 2. That said we still managed to stock up with some good cheese, bread and fruit from some small shops - it was bliss buying perfectly ripe cherries and apricots in May. I've yet to buy an edible apricot in the UK, so I was in heaven right there. There was a blessing in one of the churches near Teatro Massimo for Santa Rita and I wondered if that had had an impact on how quiet the place was, as everyone was going to get bunches or roses blessed at the church.
Anyway, the best thing about Vucciria market is that we found one of those places with the antipasti that had a number of small tables and seats - it's called Mina (though I hadn't spotted any name, it's just that they gave us a card) and it's on Via Pannieri 28 just off Piazza Caracciolo and linking to via Corso Emmanuela. The main man behind the counter was not going to crack a smile, but hey, the food was delicious, fantastic range of antipasti and nibbles: we had stuffed squid, swordfish steak, caponata, the aubergine rolls things (sorry!) and more. It was quite a hub, the stall holders obv frequent the place and there seemed to be a lot of banter going on. Anyway, we went twice - once to take away for a picnic and once to sit down and eat there. And that's my Vucciria experience :-) So the excellent refers to Mina's and the apricots rather than the market experience itself.
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