Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakesh

Marrakesh (Morocco). A never-sleeping place, always crowded and swarming of snake-charmers, orange juice makers or fortune tellers: this is Jemaa el-Fnaa, one of the most vivid, chaotic, exciting, intriguing and enjoyable squares in the world, and the “place-to-be” of Marrakech, a true city’s landmark.

And when the sun goes down, Jemaa el-Fna is transformed into an open-air “multi-brand” restaurant, where stands run by families prepare what is commonly recognized as the best (and most authentic) Moroccan street food in town. But before starting this amazing culinary experience, I think there’s nothing better than climbing up the stairs to one of the many terraces on the top the buildings surrounding the square, and enjoying the sunset watching the people gathering around the stands. The skyline is dominated by the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, from where a flow of people comes to fill the square and make it the most crowded place in town.

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The Auction for Tuna at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo

Tokyo (Japan). Early morning at the Tsukiji Fish Market, in the hearth of Tokyo. Hundreds of people gather here to buy the best fish coming from every corner of the world. But the most important one, Tuna fish, has a specially dedicated auction with a very organised procedure. Frozen fishes are laid down on the floor, and the incredibly hot and humid air (it was summer) creates a sort of fog’s layer just above them. Bidders check every single tuna in order to prepare their best offer when the auctioneer – from the heigh of his stool – starts the negotiation few minutes after.

Even if it was forbidden to shoot photos at the tuna auctions, I was able to hide myself behind a cart and capturing some images. This is one of the most representative, taken few minutes before being seen and threatened with a hook by one of the participants…

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The Mercato Metropolitano in Milan

Milan (Italy). The Mercato Metropolitano is a new – and I think pretty successful – experiment in the vibrant landscape of Milano. It was opened some months ago, just before the summer season, but I think it will be closed soon because it’s largely open air – so do not wait too much if you have not been there yet.

I went to the Mercato Metropolitano some weeks ago and I liked it. It’s the the place to go if you want to eat some nice street food, with many regional cookeries in a very informal environment – as a “metropolitan market” can be. To be honest, I was expecting something more similar to the Mercato Centrale (Florence) or the Mercado do Ribeira (Lisbon), where the daily market in the evening is transformed into a large restaurant. But the concept – in terms of food quality and offer – is quite close to them.

The Mercato Metropolitano is close to Porta Genova: there is one metro line (the Green one) and several trams to / from there. It’s also a nice place to take some photos (as of course I did, with my Leica Q).

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Le Marché de Noël (The Christmas Market) de La Défense (Paris)

Paris (France). The Christmas Market at La Défense (Marché de Noël de la Défense) is one of the largest of the Ile the France, with an extension of 12,000 square meters and more than 350 chalets.

The Marché de Noël de la Défense will remain open until the 27th of December 2016. I photographed it some days ago through a window from the EDF Tower.

Parigi. Il Mercato di Natale de La Défense (Marché de Noël de la Défense) è uno dei più grandi della regione attorno a Parigi, con 12,000 metri quadri di superficie e oltre 350 chalets.

Il Mercato di Natale de La Défense rimarrà aperto fino al 27 Dicembre 2016. L’ho fotografato alcuni giorni fa attraverso una finestra dalla Torre EDF.


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Devotion (at the Sukawati Market in Bali)

Bali (Indonesia). The sense of religiosity and devotion is something that everyone experiences even as just landed in Bali. Travelling around the island is a continuous discover of temples – large and sumptuous, as well as small and humble – and it’s impossible to remain indifferent to it. Furthermore, it’s not only a simple visual experience (meaning, something that you can simply see); flowers and incenses are largely used in rituals, and it’s quite frequent smelling their scent along the streets.

However, although Bali hosts some thousands of temples all around, every place is suitable for devotion. Every shop has its private corner for praying and giving offers to God. Same is for private houses, where women daily prepare a basket of fresh products, fruit, flowers, biscuits and some money. The photograph I post here comes from the Sukaweti Market, not too far from the central town of Ubud. It’s a large market, which sells different products, mainly fruit and vegetables. I was walking around, and I noticed this big stack of bananas with the typical small basket on it, containing another banana, frangipane flowers and some incense to be offered to God. I found this scene very peculiar of the Balinese religiosity, and I did not hesitate one second to take my camera and capture it.

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