It’s a Shopping Day

It didn’t start out to be a shopping day, but that is just how it evolved!!

We first walked to our local-ish metro station (Municipio) and successfully bought a ticket and ALMOST made it into the station unaided!! When you walk up to the turnstile, you insert your ticket in one slot, it prints on it and pops it back up for you to retrieve. Then the turnstile is opened and you can enter the station. Well this time everything worked great except that the turnstile wouldn’t let me thru. While we were trying to figure out what had gone wrong, a kind Napelese man quietly said “It’s on the other side”!! I was using the turnstile on the left side of the barrier instead of the one on the right side!!! Oh how much we depend on the kindnesses of strangers!!!!

We boarded the train for Garibalidi and then walked 7 minutes to Porta Nolana. We could have taken another metro but decided that it would probably be faster to just walk.

We were headed to the fish market area and knew that we were getting close when we started to smell the distinctive aromas and see the men in rubber boots. This was a fairly small market, but was doing a thriving business…..

We watched as the shopkeepers rinsed and prepared the catch…..

And marveled at how fresh this fish was. These fish were still in rigor…..

We loved seeing these Stingrays and were reminded of the night that we ate Civeched Stingray in China…..

The fresh Eel was going quickly, especially with some of the Asian shoppers…..

Michel and I had long discussion about these little fish…..

…wondering if we could figure out how to flour and fry these little guys. We remembered that we had really enjoyed eating them when we were here before.

After you bought your purchases, you could go to these guys to get the fish gutted and cleaned…..

As with many fresh air markets, this one was filled with the vendors calling back and forth to each other, probably yelling that their prices were better!!! There was one guy that was louder than all of the others and we were not surprised to see his stall a bit away from the others…..

We left the market and started the 30 minute walk (stroll) to Christmas Alley, but got distracted along the way by shoes…’s shoes to be exact. Michael was having trouble getting one of the shoes unlaced and the shopkeeper motioned for him to put his foot up. This photo ensued……

He didn’t speak much English but did get the word “Facebook” out!!!

With that purchase safely tucked away in the backpack, we resumed our trek to Via San Gregorio Armeno, aka Christmas Alley. When we were here in 2010, this area was filled with artisans creating wonderful decorations but today it was mostly just shops that carried the same basic products. Having said that, I did find a few pieces that I wanted to add to my Christmas collection.

Many of the pieces were designed to be part of Nativity Scenes, ranging in size from table top to room!! There are also a number of pieces that are designed to be part of a Christmas village….think Studio 56. But these are far more fun……

I did see this man working on his creation…..

At the end of the street stands the church of San Gregorio Armeno. It was a vast building….

…..filled with lovely arches and cupolas…..

The altar was typically ornate…..

I appreciated this statue…..

…and the design of this altar…..

I giggled that this small area that contains great works of art is simply used to store extra chairs…..

And of course, there was one design on the floor that I had to photograph…..

Since we had a backpack full of stuff, we decided to go back to the flat for a late lunch and to rest for a bit. But we both had the shopping bug so we emptied the backpack and headed out again.

The first stop was to OVS which is one of our favorite stores in Italy. Michael found several shirts and pants…..

….and I found a few items as well. We then split up and, as Michael walked back to the flat, I continued to H&M, a store that I had found when we were in Vienna. I bought a few more items and then returned to the flat.

Neither of us were up for cooking, so we made our way back to Pizzeria Brandi, enjoying a batch of Bruschetta…..

….and then two HUGE pizzas.

But, as there always is….. there was room for Gelato!!!