Jiaqi in Italy: Old-fashioned Market in Viale Papiniano

Typical vendor

Typical vendor

 

I have always had a passion for markets. Fresh produce straight coming from the farmers, cheeses, condiments, clothes, shoes, accessories, shoes, but also home objects. Strictly fresh, honest, low-price, and practical.

My journey in Milan began with a treasure hunt across different farmers’ markets in the city, in search of kitchen essentials, unique clothes, and an authentic view of the local Milanese people. Among all these markets in Milan, there is probably no more vibrant place like the one in Viale Papiniano. Upon entering the characteristically mundane plaza, I was immediately catapulted into the old-fashioned market atmosphere. Through a close look at the intense color and the natural human interactions, I want to present the veracity of the local life in Milan, a part of Milan that is less represented in mass media.

 

Cheese paradise

Cheese paradise

 

Cheese stand

Cheese stand

 

Cheese vendor

Cheese vendor

 

Passion for cheese has already become an important part of Italian identity. Milanese are no exception, and they for sure know what is good taste. Cheeses, “formaggi” in Italian, come in amazingly diverse variety and quantity in Papiniano market. Each cheese stand has its own specialty and character. My favorite, however, is the organic cheese stand that sells truffled-flavor cheese exclusively. With one little bite, the indescribable flavor of minerals from that far-away mountain has already convinced me.

 

Italian in-season produce

Italian in-season produce

 

Fruit vendor Muhammad

Fruit vendor Muhammad

 

Four Euros please

Four Euros please

 

It’s a great opportunity to see what fruit and vegetables are in season, and Italy has a fantastic range of diverse produce year-round. As what you would expect at a market, there is also the usual yelling and bargaining conversations, which makes it much more lively than a normal supermarket. The stand of Muhammad, a young immigrant from Pakistan, is my go-to place because he always greets me with a warm smile and often discounts.

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