Back when Italy still was divided into a number of Kingdoms – i.e. till the second half of the XIXth century – Gaeta marked the border between the Kingdom of the two Sicilies (aka Kingdom of Naples) and the Papal state. For centuries Gaeta was an important military port as the remaining fortifications still show today. Today the city lives more of commerce and tourism than warfare, and the wealth and size of the city have benefited from that. Leaving behind the historical chatter, for those into food Gaeta has three intriguing items on offer: olive (olives) di Gaeta, tiella Gaetana (a savory stuffed flatbread) and the weekly market. Leaving the former two for upcoming posts, I'll show you around the market.
The city's market takes place every Wednesday not far from the railway station of Gaeta(there are a number of entry points, so it is best to just ask the locals). It is pretty much divided into a part dedicated to food and one to almost anything else with goods ranging from shoes and cheap clothes to kitsch home decorations and cheap plastic toys for kids. You can guess which part I was interested in.
Among the many "salumeria" stalls – selling, as customary in Italy, cured meats and cheeses, but also milk, bread and eggs – one particularly caught my eye. Beside the standard cheese selection, they had a selection of farmhouse goat and sheep cheeses. In any big city market these would have been presented in a specially attractive set-up, advertised with great clamour and sold at dear prices. As often in Italy, qualityis taken as obvious, so here the cheeses simply come in polystyrene boxes straight from the producer and are sold at dirt-cheap prices: the small goat cheese went for 1 Euro each, with the pecorini only slightly more expensive. I couldn't resist the temptation and a couple of goat cheeses and a small young pecorino.