Istanbul, part III: Kapalı çarşı

This article is also available in: Italiano

The travel to Istanbul continues, the fourth day is dedicated to Kapalı çarşı and to the melody that only Istanbul is able to offer

Istanbul, the sea

Kapalı çarşı

By the fourth day I have a clearer idea of what I miss and what the city has to offer me. So I choose the area of Nuruosmaniye camii, “Osman’s mosque of light”, which is a guarantee? After my usual cigarette with the cats of the neighborhood I go towards Çemberlitaş, a few steps from my accommodation. Already at 11 in the morning it is a mix of smells, including pomegranate juices, spices and kebabs for the most enterprising German tourists.

I start to venture towards the celebrated mosque, time to take a photo and I am swallowed by the crowd that is heading further ahead. I choose not to resist, Istanbul is a sea and to appreciate its seabed you have to get in tune with the tides. Some time later I find myself in front of the door of Kapalı çarşı, The Grand Bazaar. Don’t ask me how I got there, I only realized it once I saw the guards and the metal detector.

Kapalı çarşıKapalı çarşı

When you say Istanbul is the Gateway to the East, you don’t mess around, just look at the covered market, a mixture of typical Andalusian architecture and decorations that smell of Persia. With 61 covered streets and more than 4000 shops and boutiques, it is one of the wonders that have inspired poets and artists who love the East for centuries.

Honestly, I would have liked to make an accurate observation like the one you just read above. The truth is that my entry was as quick as my exit, swallowed and then spat by the human tide that is Istanbul. Patience, just as the crowd pushed me once so he can do it again. However, I managed to take some photographs of you. Only once in the hotel will I have proof of the Mediterranean soul of Istanbul: in each photo there is at least one flag of a team from Gala, Fenerbahce, Beşiktaş and smaller teams. Each day that passes this city enters my heart more and more.

The noise of the cityKapalı çarşı

Once out, I stop on a bench not far from an exit from the bazaar. The area seems to come from Güneşi Gördüm, in the center of Fatih and yet very popular. Istanbul is like Naples and Barcelona, the suburbs and the center of the city continually mix in a confused and, at the same time, regular harmony.

Only now do I realize that I have never worn headphones for the whole trip. Honestly, it never even occurred to me, yet I always had them in my pocket. In Milan, headphones are used to liven up a city that, as far as the inhabitants of the villages say, is decidedly silent and discreet. This city is not the opposite and you would never put on headphones, woe to miss a minute of the music that the city offers you. A music made of “Çay”, the call of the Golden Horn and the people. A symphony that only a madman would be able to give up.


I finish the day with a walk in Galata, seeing it in the evening has a whole new flavor, on the way back I stop on the bridge of the homonymous district and observe the horizon. I think I’ve found my next destination.

Discover the first and second part of my trip to Istanbul. A new episode soon, all photos are original.

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Kapalı çarşı

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