Palermo, Sicily, Southern Italy.
Ballarò is the oldest market in Sicily’s capital, Palermo, alongside two other markets: Vucciria and Capo. The name is thought to have originated from an Arab village near the city called “Bahlara” where merchants came to trade in ancient times.
Ballarò still exists despite modern commercial distribution, whilst the other markets of Palermo are almost abandoned and survive only as gathering for youth at night.
The peculiarity of Ballarò is that it’s exactly as it used to be 60 years ago: the people are the same, but for their different faces; their eyes studying and knowing everything even if staring at walls or cracks in the street. They are like stones and make you feel like you are a part of the market and time doesn’t exist. No more real than rain on a sunny day.
I took this series with just one roll of film (12 exposure) on my Zenza Bronica medium format camera, following my grandfather and father through the streets as my guides.
This essay is part of a wider project called “Palermo and surroundings”.
Pietro Marino is a medical student with a nostalgia for film photography and documenting his surroundings.
Check his work here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pietromarino/