Nine o'clock in the morning. A faultlessly blue sky, and bright sunshine that has already been gathering in strength for the past three hours. People are already up and about - on a day like this, you want to get the heavy lifting out of the way before mid morning, and the punishing heat of the day.....
En route to the butcher for a couple of Bistecchie di Maiale , walking through the part of the market that snakes round into Piazza Omobono, my nostrils are beguiled by a scent that combines all of the tantalising aromas of a summer cornucopia. At this time of year, the stalls are piled high with mountains of peaches, and cherries, and Melons, and figs, and strawberries, and raspberries - not to mention the myriad tomatoes, and sweet aubergines, and leeks, and borlotti .......and a shopping list is absolutely imperative, to prevent (or at least reduce) the risk of being seduced impractically into buying it all!
From Maurizio's - bistecchie in hand - I go to Antonella's mother, for Peaches, and Apples, and Melanzane, and tomatoes (for a Caprese Salad for lunch - mouth-watering!), and then, next door to Claudia, for black ravioli, stuffed with Sea Bass.
After a final swing past Anna's cousin's fruit stall in the little passage that runs from the other side of Vettovaglie through to Piazza Garibaldi, I'm done for the day, and can subside into a much-needed first Cappuccino of the morning! (And all without having to take out a second mortgage.....)
Now that is what I call a whole foods market!
Black Ravioli, stuffed with Sea Bass, in a sauce of buttered shrimp.
Bistecchie di Maiale, with Aubergine sauteed with Anchovies and Garlic.
Peaches stuffed with Chocolate and Amaretti.