Una tavola fredda —a prepared food counter in the Mercato Centrale, Florence, Italy (Photo by David Shalleck)

Una tavola fredda—a prepared food counter in the Mercato Centrale, Florence, Italy (Photo by David Shalleck)

Get a sense of place through taste during your travels

I also want to introduce ingredient and wine retailers in the United States so you can live the Mediterranean Summer lifestyle at home.




Make a food tour or cooking class a part of your trip, especially at the beginning of your stay. You’ll gain insight into what to eat, learn how or from whom it’s made, and where to find the best local dining.  


You can eat at most of the markets and it’s a good idea to explore the neighborhood around them for restaurants, café’s, food stores, bakeries, wine and cookware shops. Many market halls are also architectural gems.  


Go where the people are! Immerse yourself into some food shopping. You will have direct access to many delectable foodstuffs that are difficult to find at home, if at all. And of course, keep room in your checked baggage to bring food souvenirs home. I guarantee, every time you open the jar, box, or can after your travels, you’ll think about the day you bought it and smile.  

Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Customs and Border Protection websites here and here to learn what foods can and cannot be brought home.  


Cookware stores provide all kinds of clues of what you should be eating in a particular place. Tagine. Paella. Cous cous. Griglia. Cataplana. Kabob. It goes on. They’re also wonderful souvenir stores for hand tools, gadgets, and tabletop items for your home. Just remember to pack them well in your checked baggage.  


You’ll eat very well at any one of the fine establishments listed here that feature a style of cooking indicative of where they are. There are also associations like the Ristoranti Della Buona Accoglienza in Venice and the Premiate Trattorie Italiane of which the member restaurants subscribe to reflecting local tradition and authentic dishes in their menus.  


Treat yourself and stay somewhere nice. Why not? Many hotels are also getting into the local food scene by having culinary programs on their premises or featuring classic and regional dishes in their restaurant menus comprised of local ingredients.  


recommendations by country


Food Tours and Cooking Classes 


  • Mercado da Ribiera 
    Av. 24 de Julho s/n, 1200-481 Lisbon  

  • Mercado dos Lavradores 
    R. Latino Coelho 38, 9060-155, Funchal, Madeira Island 

Food shops 



Food Tours and Cooking Classes 

Public Markets  

  • Mercado Central Cádiz  
    Plaza de la Libertad, 11005 Cádiz 

  • Mercado Central de Atarazanas  
    Calle Atarazanas 10, 29005 Malaga  

  • Mercado Central de Alicante  
    Av. Alfonso el Sabio, 03002 Alicante  

  • Mercat de l’Olivar  
    Plaça de l’Olivar, 07002 Palma, Illes Balears, Mallorca  

  • Mercado Central  
    Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges, 46001 Valencia 

  • Mercat Sant Antoni  
    Carrer del Comte d’Urgell 1, 08011 Barcelona   

Food Shops  

Cookware and Houseware Stores 


  • Tapeo 
    Carrer de Montcada 29, Barcelona 08003 
    Tel. 34 933 10 16 07 





Public Markets  

  • Les Halles De Sète  
    Rue Gambetta, 34200 Sète  

  • Halles d’Avignon  
    18 Place Pie, 84000 Avignon 

  • Marché Provençal  
    Cours Masséna, 06600 Antibes 

  • Marché du Cours Saleya  
    Cours Saleya, 06300 Nice  

Cookware and Houseware Stores 



  • Toile Blanche 
    826 Chemin de la Pounchounière, 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence 
    33 4 93 32 74 21 




Food Tours and Cooking Classes 

Public Markets 

  • Mercato Centrale Firenze  
    Piazza del Mercato Central, 50123 Florence 

  • Mercato Centrale  
    Via Buontalenti 57, 57126 Livorno 

  • Mercato Testaccio  
    Via Beniamino Franklin, 00153 Rome  

  • Mercato di Rialto  
    Calle de la Pescaria, 30122 Venice 

Food Shops  


  • Trattoria Omero  
    Via del Pian dei Giullari 47, 50125 Firenze (FI)  
    Tel. 39 055 220 053  

  • Ristorante Romano   
    Via Giuseppe Mazzini 120, 55049 Viareggio (LU)  
    Tel. 39 0584 31382 

  • Ristorante Don Alfonso   
    Corso Sant’ Agata 11, 80061 Sant’ Agata sui Due Golfi (NA)  
    Tel. 39 081 878 0026 

  • Lo Scoglio da Tommaso 
    Piazza delle Sirene 15, Marina del Cantone (NA) 
    Tel. 39 081 808 1026 




Food Tours and Cooking Classes 

Public Markets 

  • Varvakios Central Market 
    Athinas 42, 105 51 Athens 


  • Hatzikelis Seafood Restaurant  
    Solomou Alchadef 9, Rhodes Island 851 00  
    Tel. 30 2241 027215  





  • Ciya Sofrasi 
    Caferağa Mahallesi, Güneşli Bahçe Sk. No:43, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul 
    Tel. 90 216 330 31 90 

  • Yanyali Fehmi Lokantasi 
    Osmanağa Mahallesi, Güneşli Bahçe Sk. No:1, 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul 
    Tel. 90 216 336 33 33 


  • Witt Hotel Istanbul  
    Kılınç Ali Paşa Mahallesi, Defterdar Ykş. No:26, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul 
    90 212 293 15 00 




Public Markets 

  • Mehane Yehuda Market  
    Mehane Yeduda Street, et. al., Jerusalem 




Great eating is all about the quality of the ingredients. After your travels, these resources offer wonderful selections of authentic food products and kitchen wares for your Mediterranean cooking at home.   


The harmony of a cooking style paired with the wine making style of the same area makes for a very satisfying dining experience. These retailers offer a wide range of wines from the entire Mediterranean region.  

  • Empire Wine   
    1440 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12205  
    Tel. 877.779.4631  

  • K&L Wine Merchants   
    855 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107  
    Tel. 877.559.4637 

  •  Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant   
    1605 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702  
    Tel. 510.524.1524 

  • Italian Wine Merchant  
    108 E 16th Street, New York, NY 10003  
    Tel. 212.473.2323 

External site disclaimer: The links to external sites from this website are provided solely for informational and guidance purposes only; they do not represent the nature of, or have any bearing on, or guarantee the services, businesses, products, directions, information, or opinions being offered by the corporation, company, organization, or individual owner of those external sites and/or their businesses. Mediterranean Summer® including all owners, officers, partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, and assigns have no control of any websites of others and shall not be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, legality, content, protection of privacy, and security of those external sites and/or subsequent links. Please contact the external site for answers to questions regarding these matters.