On my previous trips to Montepulciano, I’ve enjoyed the market. Normally, market day is every Thursday, but this week there is some sort of fair over the weekend, so the market is much bigger than usual. Streets are closed off to traffic and vendors stretch as far as the eye can see. Everything from clothes and household goods to plants, and food. Imagine the most impressive farmer’s market and then double the size!
My experience at today’s market was very different from my previous trips. First of all, I was able to communicate much more effectively with the vendors. And second, I had Cinder with me. If you want to make a splash in a small Italian town, I highly recommend walking around with an eighty pound Weimaraner. You’d think I had a dancing bear on the end of the leash instead of large dog in her dotage so excited were some of the passersby. We were definitely a hit, although the meat vendors looked a little wary as if she might attack at any second for a piece of prosciutto. It was definitely as struggle holding her in check once her nose picked up the scent of the trucks offering roasted chicken and pork, but thankfully they sit so high off the ground her nose barely reached the display.
My plan for the morning was to find a rug for the apartment, but once I got there I got distracted by all the fabulous produce. As I write the “profuma” from the strawberries I bought is filling the apartment. I was limited in what I could actually buy since my knowledge of kgs isn’t stellar yet, but I am quite adept at holding up one or two fingers to indicate how many things I would like! I’d brought my backpack, so I stuffed in my purchases, moved away from the food and got down to the business of rug shopping. Our landlady, Giuliana, took away the two pretty rugs that had been in the apartment, I guess fearing that Cinder would dirty them.
After a few spins around the market since vendors were still setting up, I found a smallish rug which I though might be perfect for our space. The weather has been so damp and grey this week that I’ve gotten a sample of how cold the floors are going to be in winter.
When I expressed interest in one of the rugs, the vendor turned it over so I could see the price. I told him it was bello, but troppo caro (too expensive) for me. In less than five minutes, he’d brought out a ton of other rugs and reduced the price twice on the one I liked. I thanked him and told him I’d look around and come back later. I think by tomorrow we might have a new rug!
Cinder and I headed home with our fruit, stopping in at our favorite cafe for an espresso and brioche. The couple who own it are very sweet and allow Cinder to come in. This of course thrills her! I think I might venture back to the market after I bring Cinder home. I need to see what things I need for the apartment and then try to find some bargains. Mi piace molto market day!