The Italian Lifestyle

 Sicily truck with produce Riposto Photo by Margie MiklasI love seeing these roadside fruit and vegetable shops on wheels. I noticed this one in the seaside town of Riposto, south of Taormina in Sicily. Really when you think about it, this is a perfect business – it’s mobile and there is no rent to pay, just the  cost of petrol and  maintenance of the truck.

I love seeing all those white onions hanging in bunches. According to the sign it seems that the price is reasonable, a I think it says 7 (bunches) of cipolla for 5 euros. The ciliege, or cherries are also 5 euros for a kg, or a little over 2 euros for a pound.

No overheard produce off the back of a truck Photo by Margie Miklas Italy Another one from Sicily. These fresh markets on wheels are all around in Italy, even in larger cities like Rome. The produce is always fresh and the prices are usually reasonable.

Mobile fruit and vegetable stand in Lecce Photo by Margie Miklas This one is in Lecce. I like to make a stop while I’m out and pick up a few pieces of fruit and then later have that as my lunch with some fresh formaggio (cheese) and pane (bread). A healthy lunch and not expensive, always a good idea while traveling.

Fruit vendors in Catania - Photo by Margie MiklasWhat are your thoughts? Have you come across these small trucks  filled with fresh produce in towns and cities of Italy? I’d love to hear  about your experiences, so please leave a comment and keep the conversation going.

Grazie and ciao.

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10 Responses

  1. Whether buying off the backs of trucks or from fruit and vegetable stands, I find the quality of the produce better than in most places in the U.S. and incredibly the cost is usually less than half. The normal price of cherries in the grocery stores I frequent, for example, is $5.99/pound. In Italy you can walk away with both hands full of plastic bags overstuffed with fruit and vegetables for less than $10.

    • I remember South Florida in the 50’s when we had vegetable trucks going through the neighborhoods. We all bought frest fruit and vegetables for pennies and nickels. And don’t be cute and show up with a $5 bill because you would get your change in those same pennies and nickels, haha.

  2. Since I live in a “food desert” when it comes to fresh (Alaska), these photos make me homesick!! I am anxiously watching my little garden for the growth of rucola, broccoi rabe, kale and lettuce!!

    • I so sympathize with you as I lived in Alaska for 2 years. I remember buying broccoli that looked okay and then having the shock and horror of a musty mouthful upon tasting. I got in the habit of smelling the vegetables before buying. I figured they must have sprayed something on them to keep them “looking” fresh. All the best with your garden!

  3. These mobile truck-shops are ideal for the main centres & cities. In smaller towns like Montalto we have the weekly market, and several greengrocers to choose from. I remember staying in a small town in Sicily, where the ‘fruttivendolo’ arrived on a 3 wheeler stacked with produce, and the women dropped baskets on rope from their apartment balconies, with money and shouted what they wanted from above. I was utterly fascinated. They would first ask how good the selection was, and God help him if they were disappointed!

  4. Do they group together like a farmer’s market? Or just stop randomly on the side of the road? How does this affect the regular fruit and veg markets? It looks as if they have gone back to the way things were in years gone by with the farmers bringing their produce to town! Will look forward to seeing/trying when I’m there in Sept/Oct. Sooo looking forward to it – getting excited 🙂

  5. I wish we had these in my neighborhood ; )

  6. Yet another example of that lifestyle that is simpler than what we have here in the US, I love it.

  7. I saw some of these in Puglia – thanks for the memory nudge!

  8. Ciao Margie. I love the fruttivendoli. They come by all the time and the produce is excellent. I just posted a foto on Instagram of a fruttivendolo in my narrow little street in Puglia. All I had to do was walk down the stairs. It’s at @unpodipepe if you want to see it. Cristina

I'd love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment.