If you are planning a visit to Turin, make sure your suitcase isn’t too packed. Because one of the things on your to do list must be Porta Palazzo: with around 800 stalls the biggest open air market in Europe!

Porta Palazzo is situated in the city center (Piazza della Repubblica) and offers you a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, tasty meat and all kinds of Piemonte specialties. And when you ask the market vendor ‘how much per kilo?‘, you’ll realize that you should have brought a bigger suitcase! Every time I visit the Porta Palazzo it leaves me flabbergasted by all that is offered, the lively entourage and the kind people.

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The Porta Palazzo secret meet up…

During my last trip to Turin my friend Monica took me to a special and secret location within the Porta Palazzo market. Every Saturday a group of friendly locals gather around a table to enjoy pure and typical Piemonte specials, like cheese, meat, fish, cookies, wine and coffee. And all for free! The only rule is that you bring something to share yourself. This gathering is lead by Pasquale, the grande capo of the food filled table, and his companion Valerio.

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The weekly meet up has been a tradition for many years now and you’re only welcome as a guest of one of the locals or by invitation. The encounter I had was more than special: for almost three hours I enjoyed all kinds of Piemonte specialties, accompanied by personal stories and a lot of wine. As a friendly gesture I have also been invited to join the group when I move to Turin… so if you’re curious about this unique ‘event’, well then I’ll have to be your guide.

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Grand Ballôn

Also worth the visit: just behind the Porta Palazzo you’ll find the Ballôn. A very big open air flea / antique market, with an extra large edition – the Grand Ballôn – organized every second Sunday of the month. Here you’ll find all kinds of vintage and second hand goods.

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Autor: Stefano Oosthof