One of our favourite ways to shop wherever we are in Italy is to visit the weekly markets in each town and village. Sicily is no exception. Some of the the most famous markets include those in Palermo – Vucciria, Ballaro, Il Capo and Borgo Vecchio are the city’s four historic markets. The first is the perfect place to pick up some bric a bric or household goods whilst foodies should head instead to the Ballero market near the city’s train station. Markets tend to operate in the morning so get up early and head out early. However, Borgo Vecchio is the exception with stalls here open 24 hours a day. Other markets well worth a visit are the Mercato di Ortigia, the perfect spot to purchase freshly caught fish as well as fruit and vegetables and the market Fera ‘o Luni market in Catania where you will be amazed by the abundance of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. If you’re looking for sea food, then the fish markets in Marsala and Trapani are also well worth a visit. Sicilan markets are a great way to absorb yourself in the history and culture of the islanders and Sicily’s Arab roots in particular. Visitors will find many markets are typical suks selling an exotic array of spices, dried fruits and unusual species.
If you’re looking to bring back a souvenir from your trip and are looking for an authentic Sicilian gift than the usual range of tea towels and magnets, then why not consider some of the food or drink that Sicily is most famous for. These range from chocolate from Modica, wine from the slopes of Mount Etna and Martorana fruit. Alternatively, you could purchase a coppa hat for the man in your life, a straw coffa bag or piece of brightly painted Caltragiorone pottery for the lady in your life, or perhaps a wooden puppet for a younger niece or nephew.
If you’re looking to bag a bargain, then head to the island’s outlet mall. In the centre of the island is the Sicilia Outlet Village, home to over 140 stores including some of the most well-known brands in the world such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Missoni and Ralph Lauren. Shoppers will find all stock at a fraction of the normal retail prices you’d find on the high street.