The colourful abundance of Palermo’s Vucciria market was already a dream when Renato Guttoso created his famous painting, La Vucciria, in 1974.  By then, Guttoso had been living in Rome for years and was painting largely from memory.  He was painting a market he had known well and was dreaming of still; and the work he created has helped  keep the dream alive for others.   Although these days the  market itself is much diminished, in many ways a sad reminder of days long gone, the Vucciria has acquired an almost iconic significance in the city: despite everything, something of its old magic and distinctive character remain.      

Other food markets in Palermo’s historic centre, such as the nearby Ballaro’ and Capo markets, may now be bigger, more vibrant and exciting, but there is still nowhere better than the Vucciria to sample some of Palermo’s famous ‘fast food’.  The Vucciria is, in fact, famous for two in particular:  polpo bollito (boiled octopus)  and panini con milza (bread rolls filled with spleen of veal). 

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