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Earth Markets | Not just another market
 

Saturday in the Lumière courtyard


I approach one of the stalls at the Bologna Earth Market and hear the customer asking for her vegetables in distinct Bolognese dialect. I immediately know where we are, it identifies a specific place. It’s not only broccoli and cheese that we want from a market, but also faces, sounds and identity.


I approach one of the stalls at the Bologna Earth Market and hear the customer asking for her vegetables in distinct Bolognese dialect. I immediately know where we are, it identifies a specific place. It’s not only broccoli and cheese that we want from a market, but also faces, sounds and identity.

The market opened at the end of November, suffering cold and rain that inconvenienced initial visitors, but has established a fortnightly routine and become the place for people to do their shopping. (In any case a farmers’ market needs to meet a consumer demand: producers are mainly busy producing and can only sell when they can). If you queue up at the stalls and listen you quickly realize what is happening: the cheeses people want are the ones I got the last time, they ask formy usual bread, bikes are used by those living within the Bologna walls, ladies come early with their shopping trolleys.

It is 9 o’clock on Saturday morning in the Cinema Lumière courtyard, things are a bit slow to get going. Not all the stalls are ready, produce needs to be arranged and prices displayed; the producers share food for breakfast and the first customers join them. Baked products are the favorite and are munched directly from the bag, but other people want something more substantial and go straight for the roast pork: everyone is talking about street food now, but street breakfast is only regaining popularity among market goers—deservedly one might say, if only because they go without a cappuccino.

As time passes you can distinguish different sorts of people coming to the market. There is a minority who buy as if they were at the supermarket: they know exactly what they want and go straight for whatever is written on their shopping list without interacting much with other people. In 10 minutes they have finished and go home to start their weekend break.

But most people seem to be looking for something else at the market: they want to mix with other people, interact, be somewhere different.

Gigi Frassanito 



     
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