Nothing shows off the colors, fragrances, and spirit of Palermo like its famous street markets. Part Middle Eastern bazaar, part Italian fresh grocery, you'll also find delectable street food and a flash of theatrics, thrown in. Take a stroll through the labyrinth of stalls and you just might feel like you've landed in Marrakech instead of Sicily!

Mercato del Capo. Beloved time-honored market in Palermo, this one takes over narrow streets in the Capo district, also known as the Sant'Agostino Quarter. Laid out like a labyrinth of stalls from Porta Carini (near the Palazzo di Giustizia), it winds along Via Porta Carini, Via Beati Paoli and Via Cappuccinelle, bringing a full-fledged flavor of Palermo to anyone who strolls through. The district was once populated by pirates and slave traders, but now the vendors shout out prices of fresh vegetables and fragrant fruits. You can buy housewares, and other items, as well, but locals love it for the fresh produce. It retains is old "Arab souk" feel, with a cacophony of voices, animated atmosphere and narrow lines of umbrella-topped stalls.

Ballaro' Mercato. The city's oldest and most revered (by locals), this is the place for a straight-up slice of Sicilian life. Ballaro' market is in the Albergheria district, sprawling from Piazza Ballaro' to Piazza Carmine and overflowing into the surrounding alleys. Here you'll find an abundance of vibrant colors - like the end of a rainbow where every fruit and vegetable imaginable are piled high in eye-popping displays. This is a food lover's market - all manner of produce, fresh fish stalls, tables laden with local cheese, trucks festooned with garlands of sausages...along with street food fare that Palermo is famous for. There are some stalls with clothes and housewares, but this one is really "all about the food".

Vucciria Market. The easiest to find in the center of Palermo, it has also become, according to locals, the more "touristy" of the famous street markets. In the lanes formed at the triangle of Via Roma and Corso Vittorio Emanuele, if you have limited time, or aren't a full foodie gawker, but want a glimpse of a market, then take a stroll through this one.

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