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Standing under the flapping canopies on the corner of 9th Street and Washington Avenue is a place that has somehow slipped through the cracks of progress. In a world of Wawas and UniMarts, the Italian Market offers a refreshing alternative to the pre-packaged dreariness of the average supermarket. Vibrant, bustling and exciting, the market enchants even the most jaded consumer with its old world flavor. On the six blocks that the market encompasses, patrons can buy everything from cameras to cucumbers, cabbage to cow tongues, carpets to carp in a cornucopia of corner shops. On the noisy narrow streets of the Italian Market, people haggle over the price of a tomato or a t-shirt in a babble of different languages. Unlike the customary check-out line, the market offers the customer the chance to barter with the vendor for a better price. The Italian Market is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. The busiest days are Thursday through Saturday, and that's when the market is at its best, with all the color and excitement that has made it one of Philadelphia's most-loved monuments.

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