The piazze and arcaded porticoes of Italy are the settings for some of the most pleasurable shopping experiences you’ll find in your travels. Collectables and found objects are tucked into the nooks and cranies of almost every town, village and city where locals and tourists alike shop for unexpected treasures and destination bargains at open air markets and tented booths.
The markets often have colorful names like the Mercantino del Pidocchietto (Little Louse Market) in Passignano sul Trasimeno or La Soffitta Sotto i Portici (the Attic under the Arches) located under the ancient arcades of Piazza Augusto Imperatore in Rome. The Mercato delle Briciole (Market of the Crumbs) in Spoleto may allude to the cast offs or crumbs that fall from the master’s table, however the antiques, crafts and collectables found at this market are anything but. Located in the centro storia (historic center) of the city, over 100 exhibitors fill their stalls with antiquarian delights and products typical of the region. These cose d’altri tempi, things from another time, are often long cherished heirlooms ready to be re-purposed by another kindred spirit. We can only imagine, or if we are lucky hear, the stories of the interior life found in each object. The connection to an owner, place or event that lives on in their possessions.
Two of the most famous antique fairs in Italy are in the town of Arezzo with more than 1,000 vendors from Italy and all over Europe and the Mercatore del Naviglio Grande, held along the canals in Milan’s artsy Navigli district. There are many antique and flea markets to see and savor in Italy including several called Il Tarlo (The Moth). Held in Genoa and various other towns, in this case, the moth is a good omen of the fabulous finds to be found. Dates and specific information on locations for these and many other antiquarian markets in Italy are listed on-line at sites that specialize in flea market shopping in Italy.
* flea market > mercato delle pulci in Italian