Saturday morning is the most lively time of the week in Pineto in the winter. The streets in the center are overtaken with market stalls. Vendors sell socks, underwear, household goods and a variety of clothes. Many people are out for a passeggiata. There are lots of bambini in strollers.
I bought a small piece of ribbon from a stall with sewing thread, scissors and buttons. I barely bought a foot or 30 centimeters. When I asked “quant’è?”, “how much”, the vendor waved me goodbye with that friendly flick of the fingers that they use here. He didn’t want any money.
The food market at the edge of downtown is also in full swing on Saturday. There are many fruit and vegetable stands, as well as cheese, porchetta, salame, dried beans and honey. I bought brown rice or rici integrale at a stand and the man started to speak to me in English. I told him I was trying to speak Italian. Later, I realized that I had just used a phrase from the lesson I took with an online teacher via Skype the previous night. I also realized that I used it wrong. Provo a parlare is correct for I try to speak. I said provo di parlare. When to use “a”, when to use “di” and when to use absolutely no pronoun between the two verbs is confusing and a matter of memorization. My teacher grouped the verbs together in a logical organization, but it will take practice.
I watched the crowds and bought a few apples at the stand where people were filling bags with apples. One of the men at the stand started to loudly hawk their offerings. I didn’t understand a word of it, but it was like music. I continued to be amazed at the fresh tomatoes and artichokes in January. My bag was gettting heavy when I bought a head of Romaine lettuce at another stand and handed the vendor one euro. He motioned for me to wait. He came around and put my lettuce in a bag where he had already placed a large cabbage. Now my bag was heavy and my heart was light.