In the heart of Palermo there is a place steeped in history and still today representative of the Sicilian population: the Vucciria market. The market is still a place where you can find the authenticity of the city of Palermo, being in the heart of the city in the district of Castellammare.
The name derives from the word Bucceria – from the French Boucherie – which literally means butchery. The market was in fact originally the place where to slaughter animals and sell meat resulting from the process. In fact, during the Angevin era it was here that the slaughterhouse was present. Later it became a market dedicated to the sale of fish, fruit and vegetables. In ancient times it was called the big Bucceria to distinguish it from the smallest markets in the city of Palermo. Vucciria in Palermo means confusion, and in fact today one of the characterizing elements of the place is the constant shouting and shouts of the street vendors who promote their goods.
The place became a place of settlement given its immediate proximity to the city port. Genoese, Pisans and Venetians in fact established their commercial epicenter in the area of today’s market. Over the centuries Vucciria has undergone several transformations; the Viceroy Caracciolo decided to change its appearance in 1783 – in particular the main square – building arcades all around to facilitate use to sellers and patrons. Inside the market there are many works of art: Palazzo Mazzarino – belonging to the homonymous count -, the fountain of the Garraffello and Palazzo Gravina Filangieri.
The Vucciria market today
The Vucciria market today is a characteristic interweaving of alleyways. Within the same market you can find a huge variety of colors and flavors, having virtually all the main ingredients of Sicilian cuisine available. Since the 2000s, Vucciria has also become the nerve center of Palermo’s nightlife. In fact, young people usually find themselves inside the old market to drink something or exchange a few words pampered by the mild climate of the Sicilian city.