Grosseto has my heart, and that’s not just because it happens to be the heart of the Maremma either! For the capital city of such a vast and extremely, unbelievably, incredibly beautiful region, Grosseto has it all.
It is a true medieval city. It will sweep you up in the drama and splendour of its Duomo and main piazza. It will drawn you in with its rich and artistic museums. It will appeal to your materialistic side with its chic shops and your glutton side with its gorgeous restaurants. And it will just leave you with the most stupid and satisfied grin on your face simply because it is the picturesque and elegant city you always imagined in the Tuscan countryside.
As you can probably tell, I am smitten with Grosseto. It was love at first sight. I hadn’t been in the Maremma long and I just remember being swept away by the sheer beauty of its streets. Grosseto has this effortless charm about it and you just can’t resist its wiles!
But every Thursday morning from 8am to 1pm, Grosseto gets even more charming, thanks to its weekly market. Before your mind goes to thoughts of fishmongers and fruit sellers, stop! This isn’t that kind of market.
Instead Grosseto’s market is a beautiful compromise between authentic and traditional Tuscan products, or as we call them ‘prodotti artiginali’, and practical everyday items.
As a tourist, you’re probably not going to be interested in the stalls selling pajamas and kitchenware, but that’s no reason not to check this market out. Among these stalls are some true gems, like a mobile delicatessen that will carve you thick slices of porchetta from a roast pork that slowly turns in the window or a fruit stall that has porcini mushrooms the size of your fist and the colour of the woods in August.
So big, you need a map to navigate it, this market has become a local tradition. Maremmani drive from all over to shop here every Thursday and this morning, I could barely walk through the crowds. As you can see from the pictures, there are more people than stalls!
That said, I find it so appealing because its a chance to truly experience the Maremman lifestyle. This is no tourist attraction. You are shopping where the locals shop and therefore getting the best local cheeses, the most divine cold cuts, prosciutto, fresh fruit and local products that you won’t find elsewhere, like guanciale – a type of prosciutto made from the upper cheek of the pig, and fresh pecorino cheese studded with truffles – delicious!!
Not to mention, the entire scene is pretty evocative. At your back are the burnt ochre medieval walls of Grosseto – the perfect backdrop to this quintessentially Maremman shopping experience.
The Maremmani might not think twice about shopping at Grosseto’s weekly market, but I can assure you, it’s something you don’t want to miss out on and the perfect opportunity to experience the incredibly rich and authentic local lifestyle.