Many towns in Italy have a square called “Piazza delle erbe” (Verona, Padova, Mantova…) or “delle vettovaglie” (erbe ‘herbs/vegetables’ vettovaglie ‘food’), the one in which mercato was held
(Piazza delle erbe, Verona)
(Domenico Gargiulo, Piazza del Mercato a Napoli, 1654)
But mercato is not only an open air grocery store, of course you can find fresh fruit and vegetable there (and cheap cloths, bags, shoes, fake Gucci and D&G…) it is also a cultural gathering, a place in which you can observe humanity and life in all his beauty and spontaneousness.
(See also: “I miss mercato – 1”
“I miss mercatini di Natale” )