While dozens of our fellow cruise passengers opted to head out for Taormina and Mt. Etna, we set out on foot in Catania, Sicily with one ‘must-see' destination in mind.
No, not Catania’s Cathedral, pictured below, although it was quite wonderful. We were seeking its famed “Pescheria” (Fish Market) . . .
“It is near the Cathedral,” advised both guide books and internet sites we’d studied before our trip. The Cathedral, rebuilt after a 1669 earthquake, was an easy walk of about 20 minutes from the port where we’d disembarked our ship, the Celebrity Silhouette.
Our ‘sources’ sent us the right direction because from that plaza in front of the Cathedral, we had an overview of the sweeping market and the crush of shoppers who filled the square below us.
We’d read that this Marcat del Pesche, Fish Market, was probably as old as the city itself. Much of the fish sold here, we learned, comes from Italy’s largest fishing port, Mazara del Vallo, in southwestern Sicily.
While smaller fishing Sicilian ports also contribute to the seafood selection, for example, anchovies from Sciacca and swordfish from Favignana.
Big Fish ~ Small fish ~ Everywhere fish. We’ve never seen so many varieties and types of seafood for sale in a single place.
And this poor guy. . .(sorry, I can’t resist) . . . really lost his head over the market.
The Fish Market has grown over the decades, with its tasty tentacles spreading out from this square along streets lined with vendors selling fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat products.
It seemed more a gallery of edible art than street market as we squeezed and turned our way through the crush of shoppers. . .
Can you tell we love European street markets? Like early morning magnets they draw us to their sights, sounds and smells. Much like Brigadoon, they appear for a few hours and then are gone each day.
We returned to the Pescheria in the early afternoon and this is how that once busy square looked.
If You Go:
Since the 18th Century, Catania has been the second largest city in Sicily and the 10th largest in Italy. It was destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1168 and then again in 1693. It’s also suffered from some of Mt. Etna’s eruptions.
The Pescheria is reportedly the second-largest market in Catania. The largest is found in the Piazza Carlo Alberto – which we didn’t make it to on this trip.
The Pescheria is off Piazza Duomo near the cathdral, between Via Garibaldi and Via Pacini. It extends along Via Gemelli Zappala and other surrounding streets. It is closed afternoons and on Sundays.
That's it for this Travel Photo Thursday, so head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos! And if you are looking for some luxury, come back this weekend and we'll show you one place to find it.