Cortona Market Set up

8 Jun

If you wake early enough, you can watch the empty Piazza Signorelli come to life on Saturday morning and become the open market.  We have wondered how all the trucks arrive and set up, as the streets leading to the Piazza are narrow and steep. This morning we found out.

A truck that becomes a canopied stall looks like this when closed:


Between 7-8 am, dozens of trucks maneuver through the narrow streets to reach their assigned  spaces. This truck actually made it through without hitting anything!


In an ancient town like Cortona, one might expect market stalls to be rather simplistic. However, that is anything but true. These modern marvels are fascinating. If you have ever seen a factory with automation in full bloom, you’d still be impressed with the robotic mechanisms on these trucks which transform them into stand-alone self-sufficient markets.

As you can see in the video, articulated robotic arms open and move canopies and sides into all directions to become  open-air covered stores. Then the contents are moved outside, whether clothes, shoes, household goods or food.



Gabriella and Luigi, our Saturday roasted chicken vendors, told us about their truck. We learned that there is a factory between here and Firenze that customizes each truck to fit the needs of the vendor. Some  just need canopies, while others, like them, require refrigeration and spit-fired roasters. Whatever the need, the factory can oblige. Some of the canopies are even opened by hand-held remote controls. Incredible!

Like so many other proprietors in town, the “roaming marketeers” are self-sufficient, hard-working people who cater to the needs of their customers. Some set up at multiple markets throughout the week, different towns, different days. Cortona is one of the smaller markets, so it is easy to get to know the vendors. They are helpful and always have a kind word and a smile. A most enjoyable morning and well worth an early start to this warm and sunny day!



2 Responses to “Cortona Market Set up”

  1. Charles June 8, 2013 at 12:18 PM #

    Aloha Judy, love your informative and educational blogs. I feel like I am experiencing a live Italian History from 8,000 miles away. Thank you for sharing.


    • blogginginitaly June 9, 2013 at 2:21 AM #

      Love having you along on the trip! I know you’ll especially enjoy Le Celle which should come out this week.


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