Whether you’re a veteran market aficionado or just starting out, it’s always helpful to know the local customs, so here’s a short list to get you started Shopping Naples Markets:

  • Most food markets are open Mon – Sat from about 0800 to about 1500, but shop early to avoid the crowds and to get the best selection. Neapolitan vendors are experts at estimating their stock and will often sell out by day’s end. Also, food markets tend to get very crowded around the noon hour as the locals go shopping for their afternoon meal, so again its best to shop early.
  • Buy one, ten or a hundred. Unless it’s pre-bagged, feel free to buy whatever quantity you like.
  • You can ask for most food items by quantity or weight. You won’t insult the butcher if you want just two slices of veal for a scaloppini.
  • Speaking of butchers – le macellerie, don’t be insulted if they ask what you are making rather than what cut you want. Neapolitan butchers are well trained and most have been doing it for all of their adult life so you can trust their judgment. Remember also that Italian cuts of meat are different and it may take a while before you figure just what you want. When in doubt leave it to them.
  • Don’t let a crowded stall scare you away – chances are they have the best products, the best prices or both.
  • Same goes for what’s in season. Whatever the locals are buying is usually a good clue to what’s the freshest and in season. Off season products here aren’t typically very good and some vendors won’t even carry them.
  • Vendors with permanent stalls don’t typically haggle. It’s best to be polite and say something is too expensive rather than try to bargain them down. If they are interested in bargaining they will let you know.
  • To make shopping a breeze you can pick up a rolling grocery cart for €10,00 or €15,00 euro at many of the markets or just about any household goods store.
  • As you would when wandering through any big city in a crowded place, keep your belongings close and your wallet in a safe place.

 

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