‘Mercato nel Campo’: Siena’s Christmas Market from Farm to Table

Vendors at Siena’s ‘Mercato nel Campo’

For a nice weekend at the beginning of December, Siena has organized the Mercato nel Campo, which offers some of the most variety of foodstuffs and crafts seen in any market in Tuscany. Visitors can find themselves anything ranging from Christmas decorations, clothing, jewelry, furniture, books, fabric, food and more. The market will be held for the weekend of December 4 and 5 in Piazza del Campo; guests must wear masks and display their Green Pass.

The event boasts 142 stands in the plaza, of participants both local and from abroad, 50 of which are for crafts by various artisans and 92 of which are for agricultural products, which are divided into different categories based on what farmers and estate owners  specialize in, a practice dating back to the 14th century when the Siena market would have many vendors selling simultaneously. Guests can browse an expansive display of fresh food with years of tradition behind them, displayed by many sellers such as the “Treccola” with their eggs, cheese and vegetables, or the “Vinaioli” with their wine from the latest grape harvest. In addition to the food, guests will discover a wide array of clothing articles and handmade goods, with a little bit of everything for great gift ideas for the holiday season. 

Three events will be held in Cortile del Podestà on the weekend during the event, which focus on the creation of foodstuffs explained by experts in the field. In collaboration with Mauro Paradisi of Azienda Agricola Paradisi, the process of the mills that create various cereals and flour will be explained. This will take place at 3 pm on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday. Following this, pasta and its history will be examined by Paolo Contemori from Ristorante L’Angolo regarding how a relatively low class dish became a staple in gastronomy for everyone over the last few centuries. Visitors can attend this lecture at 4 pm on Saturday and at noon on Sunday. Last but not least is the talk on beer, which shows where it comes from and how it is made. Alberico Pichini will tell how beer can not only be made from the barley one might come to expect, but a wide array of ingredients such as wheat, corn, rice, oats, rye, millet, spelt, African sorghum and buckwheat. All of this and more can be seen at 5 pm on Saturday and 2 pm on Sunday.  (nelson matos)

To learn more about Mercato nel Campo, along with information on each stand and the history behind the terms describing all categories of exhibitors, visit the website