Things to do in Tampa Bay Florida: Mazzaro’s Italian Market Murals in St. Pete

Share this post:
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

Now that the holidays have more or less arrived, don’t forget my shop! Click here or on the link in the menu bar above. You’ll find gear such as aprons and luggage tags, PLUS my latest book, Photos for No Apparent Reason 2015. Remember, subscribers to the blog get a discount of 20% on the book until the end of November. The subscriber discount drops to 10% on December 1, so SUBSCRIBE (on the form at right) and ORDER SOON. You’ll love the gifts you can buy for yourself and others, and I’ll appreciate you all the more!

As I was casting about for the next blog topic, I realized that, of course (facepalm), if you live in Florida you probably have out-of-state visitors, especially during the holidays. After the first couple of days, and especially after you’ve exhausted the amusement park possibilities, you might be at a loss as to what to do with them.

I’ve posted some very good ideas for daytrip destinations around the Tampa Bay area over the last year, such as:

So, I’m continuing my series of interesting, low-cost, local Florida things to do with your visitors. And you may even enjoy them yourself.

This week: The murals at Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Petersburg. Located at 2909 22nd Avenue North, it’s an easy reach from I-275. When you turn off of 22nd to go around the building for parking, you can see some mural action right off the bat:

mazzaro-22nd-st-mural

mazzaro-22nd-st

As you wend your way through the parking lot to the main door, you’ll see a plethora of painted murals covering the building. These murals have been created and added to over the years, and now they pretty much cover every inch of the outside of the extensive building.

mazzaro-glass-studio-mural

mazzaro-vespa-shop-mural

mazzaro-fiat-fleetYou’ll notice the three-legged emblem on the front of the middle vehicle above. You’ll also see this symbol around the Mazzaro buildings and grounds. It’s called a trinacria or triskelion; it’s a symbol of Sicily. It’s related to the fact that Sicily is triangular, but there are some fascinating legends about the symbol, too. Click here for more.

trinacria-detail

I spoke to one of the owners who told me that one artist is currently commissioned to do the murals. She said that, over the years, several artists have been hired to do them, but there is only one at present.mazzaro-bakery-mural

mazarro-mural

There is plenty of statuary, too, to enhance the Old-World effect:mazzaro-sculptures

You even get to go to Venice, muralistically:mazzaro-venice-mural

One of my favorite murals is the woman in the “second-story window” – I’ve been to Italy, and she is definitely watching from lots of second-story windows over there – in Germany, too! (But I think the artist was being very kind painting her so young and attractive here!) LOVE the “light” behind her in the mural; it definitely adds depth and realism to the image. Wow.mazzaro-2nd-floor-mural

The sculptural details on the grounds truly remind me of Europe:

grotesque-sculpture  mazzaro-monk  mazzarro-servizio-mural

Finally you’ll reach the main door and go inside. Which is a WHOLE ‘nother world (and blog post)!

mazzaro-main-entrance

Definitely don’t limit yourself to the murals on the outside – it’s a true Italian market on the inside. There is a fresh produce section, a meat counter, a wine-and-cheese shop, a bakery, a coffee bar, a deli, and lots of dry goods on the shelves in between. Mazzaro started out as a coffee roasters, and you can still see them operating the roasting machines in the background.

Mazzaro always seems to be crowded no matter what time you show up, but that’s also part of the Italian charm. It’s a truly European experience. AND, they’ve recently opened a housewares store across the parking lot in a separate warehouse. It also has some unique decoration, including a few painted Fiats and some sculptures:

mazzaro-housewares-building

mazzaro-fiat

mazzaro-vespa-art

When I go there, I always feel like I’ve visited Europe. Even if you don’t buy a thing (and you will!), it’s worth the experience to visit.

Photo for No Apparent Reason:

mad-fish

Share this post:
Facebook
Facebook
Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.