The arts, crafts and delicacies of Siena’s ‘grand market’ have enlivened Piazza del Campo since the Middle Ages.
As per tradition, the ‘Mercato nel Campo‘ returns to Piazza del Campo on the first weekend of December, an event full of charm that showcases the best products of food and wine and handicrafts just as they were in Medieval markets and opens the door to the magic of the Christmas season.
Now in its 15th edition, the market in Piazza del Campo has become a beloved and unmissable event of the Sienese winter. Sweets, typical cured meats, fresh pasta, cheeses, bread, dried fruits as well as handcrafted and wooden objects, fabrics and Christmas decorations make a fine display on the characteristic wooden stalls that already in the Middle Ages offered their wares to the Sienese who came from all over the surrounding area.
This market has an ancient and fascinating history linked to that of the city and its community. From the beginning of the 14th century, a daily market for food and commonly used items was held in the square, although the most important market known as the ‘grand market’ was held on Saturdays. This market attracted producers from the countryside, livestock farmers and livestock traders, and merchants and artisans of leather, textiles, glass, terracotta, iron and wood as well as many dealers in used goods.
However, the growing number of vendors made the market so crowded that a better distribution of sales areas was needed. Thus, the Ministry of Plenty, which was in charge of the city’s supply, defined a new organization of spaces by stipulating that the different producers selling goods in Piazza del Campo should be ordered in separate spaces. For instance, food vendors were placed toward San Martino; fish could be sold near the water where Fonte Gaia would be erected; flour and grains in front of Palazzo Pubblico; and so on…
This division by product category has remained unchanged for centuries, during which time the grand market has taken over not only Piazza del Campo, but the lives of the citizens of Siena. Today, the protagonists of this market are still the best products of agriculture, food and wine, handicrafts and manufacturing that characterize the Sienese tradition as well as some products from all over Italy.
So meet at Piazza del Campo on Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December for a dive into history and flavour!
Information and Contact details: www.mercatonelcampo.it