“Every time one leaves it”, “it” being Genoa, in a letter Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in 1888, “one has also left oneself behind – the will expands again, and one no longer has the courage to be pusillanimous. I never felt more grateful than during this pilgrimage through Genoa.”
In the period when the German philosopher wrote these words, the city underwent an urban renovation that among other things led to the creation of Piazza del Carmine – where approximately forty years later, in 1921, the market of the same name would be established in an Art Nouveau building, adding to the three centuries of commercial activity that connoted that area of the city.
A few years ago, the Carmine Market found (and brought) new life in the square, thanks to a consortium of entrepreneurs who are temporarily in charge of managing the structure. Today you can do your grocery shopping here – including local products such as ‘pesce povero’ (“poor fish”, a category that includes many species underestimated by larger markets) – but also stop for lunch or dinner, and even watch shows or take part in cultural events.
You can leave yourself behind, to quote Nietzsche, without resorting to bizarre or phenomenal distractions. All you need is the time to walk around, from one booth to the other.