Flea markets in Italy are an almost inexhaustible source of antiques and vintage objects. And shopping for antiques in Italy is one of the best ways to spend your time. But if you think you need to have deep pockets in order to score great flea market finds in Italy, fret not. There are lots of markets where you can find beautiful antique objects and vintage clothes for a bargain.
One of the quirkiest places to go are the mercatini dell’usato. These are second-hand markets which have also become very popular among fashionistas and collectors.
From antique furniture and vintage toys to second-hand bric-a-brac and vintage clothes, flea markets in Italy often are a true goldmine for flea markets lovers. Mind, though: when antiques are concerned, there are usually ad-hoc antique markets organized for collectors.
Wherever you go in Italy, you will always find a town or a village with an open street flea market. The mercatini dell’usato are high in number, but they differ in types. Besides the standard, second-hand flea markets selling clothes and objects, you will also find another conventional type of market: the mercato delle pulci (flea market) and the mercatini dell’antiquariato (antique market).
Unlike second-hand markets, the mercatini delle pulci have historical roots, since they appeared a long time ago, and they are usually associated with very specific types of objects. The expression itself, mercatino delle pulci, has a rather a derogatory meaning since, usually, low-value things can be found on its stands. So, when people think of products bought at the mercatino delle pulci, they usually assume they are things of little value and, sometimes, useless.
Often, this kind of flea market can be a good destination for antique collectors of all that can no longer be found anywhere else. Such as old coins, photographs, newspapers, magazines, and little things fashionable from the ’80s or ’90s.
The mercatini dell’antiquariato, on the other hand, are often more high-end markets. It is where profesional antique dealers rub shoulder with serious antique collectors from Italy and further afield. Mercatini dell’antiquariato are a treasure trove for high quality antiques like for instance antique furniture, ceramic, silverware, glass, antique paintings, and rare books.
Whichever the object bought, the number of second-hand markets and flea markets in Italy has considerably increased in the course of time. In 2008 the number of second-hand markets amounted to 2000, all over the Italian territory. It would be impossible to list all of them, but here are some the best known.
You can now visualize a selection of the best flea markets in Italy and antique fairs on a map! We exclusively featured Italy’s most acclaimed flea markets, in Rome, Turin, Milan, Florence, and Venice. Just click on the image below to access our map for free.