When I was an exchange student at the University of Padova in 1996-1997, one of my favorite places in the entire city of Padova (in English, Padua) was the Piazze delle Erbe, where every day, rain or shine, an abundant farmers market sold a cornucupia of fresh and vibrant produce. I loved the easy accessiblity of fresh fruits and veggies, and after awhile, enjoyed the exchange with the local vendors. As you approach they will say, "Mi dica", which means "Tell me". As the buyer, you will then request however many of whatever item you are wanting to sink your teeth into. "Un chilo di mele, per favore." (A kilo of apples, please). When I was living there, the lira was still used, but now you will pay with euros.. "Ecco". (Here you go) as you read the sign showing how much apples cost per kilo and offer your payment. Of course the exchange will be completed pleassantly as you leave with your goods. "Grazie mille, buona giornata!"
The last time I was in Italy, which was three years ago, I only stayed in Padova for three days, and wasn't able to get the the Piazze delle Erbe (the plaza of Herbs) until late afternoon-long after the market vendors had closed up shop. Here in this photo, you can see my friend Mike, (who did the exchange program with me 21 years ago and who still lives there) and his friend chatting, and me, strolling across the piazza in search of another delightful treat offered at this time of day. Perhaps some gelato!