Italian Faces in the Saturday Market


The big Saturday markets will never cease to be a goldmine of opportunity for capturing the wealth of Italian faces

Recently, when visiting my dear friends Novelia and Peppe in Sulmona for the Easter festivities, I discovered the huge Saturday market held in the piazza. I had wandered out of my B&B (close by) with my camera to see if anything might catch my attention. Suffice it to say, I was snapping away almost immediately.

Italian Faces

Sisters – © 2017 Jed Smith

Italian markets are no laid-back affair

Wow, there’s serious life going on. The interactions. The commerce. The smiles. There’s enormous energy and movement. This is a photojournalist’s dream! And, what started out as a designated twenty-minute exploration turned into a two-hour project, with multiple passes through the market. Each lap would yield a fresh batch of Italian faces and interactions.


Italian Faces

Due? – © 2017 Jed Smith

Italians speak with their whole bodies.

I wish I was more fluid in this regard. But, I’m simply a restrained westerner. And, rather than trying to emulate these gestures, and fail miserably, I think it’s wise to simply applaud these masters of communication. Actually, I think it would be fun to have a caption contest with images such as these to see what the viewers infer from the facial expressions and hand gestures!

Italian Faces

O Dio! – © 2017 Jed Smith

Radiant, friendly Italian faces abound

I’d be happy, too, if I was surrounded by so many artisanal cheeses, like the woman below.

Italian Faces

Happy – © 2017 Jed Smith


Italian Faces

Carving – © 2017 Jed Smith


The market is an orchestra of constant activity and movement.

At times, I was almost on visual overload. But, I reminded myself to breathe, and to “take it as it comes”!

Italian Faces

Pomodori – © 2017 Jed Smith


Italian Faces

Ready to Shop – © 2017 Jed Smith


Italian Faces

Cigarette Break – © 2017 Jed Smith

And, when you’ve had enough…

You find a spot to rest, with your faithful friend safely tethered close by!

Italian Faces

Cooling Her Heels – © 2017 Jed Smith


See these and other photos in my online gallery!

By |2019-01-27T08:13:46+01:00June 20th, 2017|Black & White, My Life in Italy|9 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Novelia June 21, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Ciao my friend and brother, I know that you have published other stories, the one I loved was seeing your beautiful house in Umbria, it looks like it has come out of a magazine your taste is superb, like everything you do. The stories you write with your amazing photos can be about Venice, other parts of Italy,of course Abruzzo, and the message that I get,( but I am sure all your readers) is your love for Italy. no doubt about it. Your day at the mercato in Sulmona has captured faces and expressions that only you with your camera could have done, they alone tell a lot of stories. BRAVO|||||||| like allways. Please come back again. They say that I am the Ambassador of Abruzzo. I am glad that I am not the only one. You are playing a big part in letting the rest of the world know that in this country there is an hidden gem and that is Abruzzo in this case Sulmona. GRAZIE, Novelia.

    • Jed June 21, 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

      Ciao, cara! I always love your enthusiastic comments, Novelia. Yes, I love Italy, and I’m glad that comes through consistently in my posts. And, you know, so well, that I have a special fondness for Sulmona. I will endeavor to come back when I can – especially to see you and Peppe. Mi manchi moltissimo! Baci, Jed

  2. Dale Henslee-Smith June 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Awesome photos, Jed! You never cease to amaze me with your enormous talent for capturing the perfect moments and scenery around you. I especially love the one with the man whose head is tilted, peeking through the hanging sausages. Bravo mio caro fratello for another wonderful post!

    • Jed June 21, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Thanks, Doodlebug. I’m glad you like the little photo excursion! The man who like was so nice in letting me take photos of him. Loads of good juju in that face!

  3. Debra June 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Wow! Market day in Sulmona is one of the things I’m looking forward most to when I’m there in October. Now you’ve made my anticipation shoot off the charts! lol Enjoying your stories and photos immensely….so happy I found you!
    Buona giornata……

    Casa Grande, AZ
    (Yes, from the place that will be 120 degrees this week)

    • Jed June 21, 2017 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Grazie, Debra. I love fueling the passions for all things Italian, and as you have discerned, I have a particular love of Sulmona! Stay cool in AZ, however possible. It’s hot here (north of Venice) but nothing like what you’re experiencing. Jed

  4. Joe June 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    So beautiful Jed! Thanks for taking and sharing these images.

  5. David colli June 20, 2017 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Great shots Jed. Pity you can’t capture all the beautiful aromas of frutta e vedura, porchetta, formaggio, salumi, pesce etc. etc. in the photos as well! The mercato is real blast for the senses.

    • Jed June 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Great hearing from you David! I hope you’re in paradise being back in Sulmona! Hope to see you and Sharyn soon.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to use this website you consent to our cookie usage and privacy policy. Ok