Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

As I’m only here in Siena for 4 days, I was pleased to discover that one of the days – Wednesday – is the weekly market day. Having walked around and looked over Piazza del Mercato behind the Campo so often, I assumed that’s where the market would be.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

Fortunately, Elisa was sitting in Reception when I was going out and I told her my plan. Then I learned that the market is in fact in completely the opposite direction – off La Lizza along Viale Maccari Cesare. Elisa showed me where it was on the map and marked the route. It was only a short walk away – nowhere is far in this small city.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

It’s one of those markets that sells everything – clothes, household goods, anything you can think of. Elisa had told me where the food section was so I made my way through to what turned out to be quite a small food market. It was though a very good one full of wonderful produce.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

There was baccala and a fresh fish stall; a huge porchetta – pork roasted slowly over many hours, and a typical Tuscan dish.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

There was wild boar salami, Tuscan fennel salami.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

Local Pecorino cheese; some flavoured with black truffle

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

A few stalls displayed gorgeous fruit and vegetables; some fat little courgettes, as well as small long courgettes with their flowers still attached.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

There were bright ripe apricots and some fresh porcini mushrooms.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

I love going to a market even when I’m not staying somewhere I can cook. It’s always a delight to see some things I might not find at home and I think you can tell a lot about a place by seeing how people shop and this kind of market reflects the Italians’ passion for food.

By now it was mid-morning and I made my way back towards the Campo and Caffe Nannini on Via Banchi di Sopra. Here I stood at the bar with a spremuta – fresh orange, squeezed in front of me – a cappuccino and croissant (€5).

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

At the back of the shop you’ll find cantuccini sold by the kilogram, and Siena’s famous panforte, sold by slice and weight, and boxes of the city’s iconic biscuits – ricciarelli.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

When it came to lunchtime I decided to try a little osteria and prosciutteria I’d passed a few times and was recommended by the B&B for simple Tuscan food.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

I wanted just a snack and saw I could have a sandwich. Although not an ordinary ‘sandwich’ but ‘Ciaccia cotta a legna’ – wood oven baked flat oil bread. The local focaccia is very thin.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

I chose one filled with Tuscan salami, fresh Pecorino cheese and sundried tomatoes (€7) and had a small beer to go with it (€2.50). It was wonderful, so tasty, the bread still warm as if freshly baked and with lots of filling.

Rather than have a coffee there, I walked the minute or so down the street to Caffe Fiorella, where I’d had a good coffee yesterday, and ordered a macchiato (€1). It was a perfect macchiato!

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

I wanted to have gelato too and headed towards a place I’d read sold some of the best ice cream in Siena. But then I was put off by seeing their pistachio was bright green, which can only mean colouring. Natural pistachio is a pale creamy brown with only the slightest hint of green. I went instead to Nannini’s gelato ‘hole in the wall’ on the Campo.

Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch   Luis Benshimol read: Siena 2018: Market Day & A Senese Lunch

I was a little taken aback that the same size medium cup I had in Grom yesterday for €3.50 was €5 here. But that’s what you get for eating or drinking on the Campo! It was good gelato … although I actually prefer Grom.

My phone was telling me I’d walked 6.7km so I decided it was time to go back to the B&B for an afternoon siesta, but what a lovely morning it had been.

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