I don’t know what it is, but no matter where I travel I’m always drawn to the local markets. Maybe it’s because I never met a market I didn’t like or maybe it’s because for me, a city’s markets are the gateways to its soul. Veritable smorgasbords if you will of local culture, customs and traditions playing out in full view of the keen observer.

I’ve been to some of the best (and the worst) market cities in the world and I can honestly say without bias, okay maybe a little bias, that Naples definitely ranks right up there. I imagine that’s because even as the supermarkets slowly

encroach on deeply rooted traditions, shopping at a local market is still a way life for most Neapolitans and thankfully, it’s a custom that has yet to go out of style.

Nearly sixty permanent markets dot Naples landscape serving almost every neighborhood in the city. Add to that weekend flea and antique markets, annual themed markets, the all important Christmas markets and vendors who throw their blankets down on the ground to sell all types of knock off goods. Few cities offer such an array.

Often crowded, usually chaotic and always animated, shopping Naples markets is an experience not to be missed. Fighting your way through narrow alleys cramm

ed with overflowing stalls, rifling through bins of €3,00 shirts elbow to elbow with hordes of Neapolitan women, trying on a pair of jeans in the back of a vendor’s van, whatever your experience, you’ll definitely go home with more than you bargained for.

And don’t worry about the language thing either. You can point, draw pictures or play charades, anything you need to do to get your point across. Neapolitans are very patient and I’m sure you’ll find just as I did that most vendors will be more than happy to help you. And if you go back to the same one more than twice you’ll be a customer for life, greeted every time with a Buongiorno Signora and often getting waited on ahead of their not so regular customers.

With so many markets to choose from the only question is where to start. For the brave at heart head to Naples two biggest markets, Poggioreale on the eastern end of the city and Fuorigrotta on the west. For the toe dippers in the crowd there are many small neighborhood markets like La Toretta and the Chiaia Markets that won’t leave you frazzled. Looking for high end clothes and shoes, check out the Posillipo Market. And for the best seafood in town head to Naples Porta Nolana Market or the fish market along Lungomare.

Find all these and more at Naples Best Markets.