Going flea market shopping in Italy is one of the best ways to spend your time. But if you think you need to spend a lot of money to get really good buys in Italy, you’re wrong, as there are lots of places where to find beautiful objects and clothes for relatively cheap.
One of the quirkiest places to go are the mercatini dell’usato, second-hand markets, which have also become very popular among fashionistas and collectors.
From books to clothes, from house bric-a-brac to objects for hobbies and toys, you can really get lucky at the flea market and get a treasure in a charming little stall of one of Italy’s numerous flea markets. Mind, though: when antiques are concerned, there are usually ad-hoc flea markets organized for collectors.
Wherever you go in Italy, you’ll 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, we also find another conventional type of market: the mercato delle pulci, flea market.
Unlike second-hand markets, the mercatini delle pulci (flea markets) have historical roots, since they appeared a long time ago, and they are usually associated to very specific types of objects. The expression itself, mercatino delle pulci (italian for flea market), 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 markets can be a good destination for collectors of all that can no longer be found anywhere else, such as old newspapers, magazines and little things fashionable in 80’s or 90’s.
Whichever the object bought, the number of second-hand and flea markets 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.
Bonus: Flea markets in Italy on a map!
You can now visualize a selection of Italy’s best flea markets 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.