The Best Flea Markets in Italy

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Flea markets in Italy are an almost inexhaustible source of antiques and vintage items. And antique shopping in Italy is one of the best ways to spend your time. But if you think you need deep pockets to score great finds at flea markets in Italy, think again. There are plenty of markets where you can find beautiful antiques and vintage clothes at bargain prices.

One of the quirkiest places to visit are the mercatini dell’usato. These are second-hand markets that have become very popular with fashionistas and collectors.

From antique furniture and vintage toys to second-hand bric-a-brac and vintage clothes, flea markets in Italy are often a veritable goldmine for flea market lovers. But beware: when it comes to antiques, there are usually ad hoc antique markets organised for collectors.

flea market rome

Wherever you go in Italy, you will always find a town or village with an open-air flea market. The mercatini dell’usato are numerous, but there are many different types. As well as the standard second-hand flea markets, where clothes and objects are sold, you will also find another traditional type of market: the mercato delle pulci (flea market) and the mercatini dell’antiquariato (antique market).

Unlike the second-hand markets, the mercatini delle pulci have historical roots, as they have been around for a long time and are usually associated with very specific types of objects. The term itself, mercatino delle pulci, has a rather pejorative connotation, since the stalls are usually filled with low-value items. Therefore, when people think of products bought in the mercatino delle pulci, they usually assume that they are things of little value and sometimes even useless.

Often this type of flea market can be a good destination for collectors of antiques, anything that cannot be found anywhere else. Such as old coins, photographs, newspapers, magazines and small items that were fashionable in the 80s or 90s.

The mercatini dell’antiquariato, on the other hand, are often more upmarket markets. This is where professional antique dealers rub shoulders with serious antique collectors from Italy and further afield. Mercatini dell’antiquariato are a treasure trove for high quality antiques such as antique furniture, ceramics, silverware, glass, antique paintings and rare books.

flea market Italy -Silvia Sala

Whatever the object purchased, the number of second-hand and flea markets in Italy has grown considerably over time. In 2008, the number of second-hand markets reached 2000, spread all over the Italian territory. It would be impossible to list them all, but here are some of the most famous.

Bonus: Flea markets in Italy on a map!

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.

map of the best flea markets in Italy