Tour Locations | A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy
LOCATION 14 | A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy
Stop here in the middle of the place. If it is on a Wednesday or Saturday morning or on Thursday after 4 P.M., you will be in the middle of many stands and lots of people coming to buy their salads etc.
In 1766, the king ordained that a vegetable and fruit market would be held here twice a week. And in spring, there was a horse fair and in autumn a livestock fair. These fairs continued until the 1970s only, but the markets are still held up to today on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. and from spring to autumn also on Thursdays from 4 to 8 P.M. Thy are very colorful and popular, people from far around Carouge come for the joyful Italian atmosphere. You can find loads of salads, vegetables, fruits, flowers, cheeses, mushrooms, honey, everything of excellent quality, mostly from local producers.
The place was arranged like this in 1808 in the so-called Napoleon style. There are typical benches and metal barres to attach the animals. Numbered stones indicate the spots for the market stands. 36 plane trees were planted. In 2001, theses pane trees had died, except four. So, the town council decided, with absolute majority, to replace them all. I then sat on the town council and I can tell you, I have never seen a project approved by unanimity, except this one. But we are in Switzerland. The population has the last say. Some stood up against the decision to also replace the four trees which were sick but not dead. So, there was a popular vote… and as you see, the opposition didn’t succeed, we replaced them all. The branches of the old trees then shaped a real tunnel over the place, offering a wonderful shade in hot summer. This tunnel has now gone. But in some ten years, we’ll have it back. You can see the branches starting to reach out for each other.
Let's move on. Turn now to the left and go in front of the little cinema on the corner of the street.