Food shopping at the Bolzano market, among pretzels, frankfurters and speck

Aug 5 2023, 17:28
It's famous for the Neptune Fountain, but also for its market: Bolzano's Piazza delle Erbe hosts stalls of vegetables and local specialties not to be missed.

Local products and typical high-altitude flavors: Bolzano knows how to impress the many travelers who choose it as their favorite summer destination through its cuisine as well. Starting with the raw materials, which find space at the city's large market.

The covered market at Bolzano's Piazza delle Erbe

Right in the middle of the old town, Piazza delle Erbe is the century-old site of the daily market, documented since 1295 as "platea fructuum." It was Count Mainard II who wanted this long, narrow space, making it the heart of the city's commercial life.Five centuries later, in 1777, the Neptune Fountain was then erected in the center of the square to replace the public pillory for the peasants. A work very dear to the people of Bolzano, who used to refer to the statue as "gabelwirt," or innkeeper with a fork, because of the trident. It's always about food, however, because the market is a little paradise for all amateur cooks, who can enjoy hoarding local bounty to prepare dishes as tradition dictates. Shopping is done every day except Sundays, from morning until 7 p.m. In high season it can happen that the stalls are very crowded with tourists, but it's worth being patient a bit for real gourmet purchases.

Bretzels, sausages and fruit in Bolzano

Fruits and vegetables occupy most of the pretty green stalls, a riot of color that tells the story of the changing seasons, showcasing fresh, local vegetables from time to time. Flanked, of course, by meats, spices, flowers and other specialty foods. And you cannot leave Bolzano without first tasting some excellent speck, offered here by several companies, along with cheeses and plenty of baked goods. By the way: there's nothing more Bolzano-like than a snack of bretzel, a symbol of regional baking artfully crafted by Bozner Brot, which bakes many variations of the traditional bread. A visit to the market, then, can also be a good excuse to try some artisanal frankfurters, even better if inside a sandwich with a drop of mustard, as at Sonia Ebner's stall. Hers is a business with a history of more than 40 years behind it, started by her mother Paula in '79, which over the years has truly won everyone over thanks to the quality of the meat. The perfect street food for lovers of strong flavors.

Piazza delle Erbe Market - Bolzano - Piazza delle Erbe - Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m./7 p.m.

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