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weave through ravenna's market
by Hannalou Coco
(return to Emilia Romagna)

more emilia romagna....
* Ravenna Secrets
* Ravenna's open Market
* Emilian Cuisine
* What do you know about Emilia Romagna?
* Emilia Romagna region
* More Italian regions...
If you are in Ravenna on Wednesday or Saturday morning don't miss the marvelous market. It opens at 7 AM and closes at 1 PM and is situated across the street from the police station.

The market is in sections almost like a department store. One aisle is devoted to nothing but shoes. The Italians are experts at display. As you walk by, you realize your life is not complete without buying those four inch heals made in vivid bright blue and covered in sequins.

Next you encounter the clothing section. Italians have an unparalleled interest in fashion. They are also devoted to anything American. Masses of army shirts and pants, cargo pants, and American tee shirts abound. Read them carefully, though, or you'll wind up with one that says something like "University of Washington, DC". Wear that in the states and you're bound to get questions.

In summer, bathing suits hang from forms strung from the spokes of the market umbrellas. As these lifelike forms sway in the wind, they entice you, not-so-subliminally, to buy. If you want to try on that snake skin bathing suit, for instance, just ask. The person running the stall will gladly usher you to the back of their van, which is equipped with a mirror. They only ask that you remove your shoes before trying on. Speaking of trying things on, the market also carries lots of underwear: bras, panties, some very see through and sexy. Try any and all of it on. Just remove your shoes.

Wander further back to find the food section. Clean white vans with open sides display wide varieties of cheese and meats. The ladies and men who operate these vans are always dressed in white with funny little frilly caps perched on their heads. Friendly, kind, and overly interested in how well you eat, they always offer you a sample of anything you might be curious about. The Italians are also expert on the art of the sale.

Don't miss the egg man. He makes pyramids of his eggs; some brown, some white. You stop to admire even if you don't really need eggs.

Need cleaning supplies? All sorts of household items from soap, to sponges, to mops and brooms are available. They even have quite a large section for replacement parts for your espresso maker.

Because Italians love and indulge their children, you'll always find at least two or three toy stalls. It looks like Christmas Eve with mechanical monkeys, barking toy dogs, cars with flashing lights and of course, Barbie. Needless to say, these stalls are always crowded with excited children and patient Mothers.

Ravenna has more bicycles than any other town in Italy. The Italians are very security conscious so they usually ride or push their bikes through the market. They would never think to just park them at the entrance. You must be careful not to get the back of your legs nicked by fenders.

Don't worry about the weather. The market is completely covered by market umbrellas. In fact, the large umbrellas many Americans now use in their gardens actually originated in Italian markets.

The morning will rush right by. You might be tired after your shopping experience so take your snake skin swimsuit and go to Marina Romea for the afternoon. This beach town is only five miles from Rent a chair and an umbrella and work on your tan while you plan you next excursion into unique Ravenna.


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