While some prefer the high-end boutiques of Via Condotti - designer shops such as Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana - those on tighter budgets might want to check out some of Rome’s flea markets. After exploring the city on your trip to Rome, visit a market for an alternative souvenir. A tacky miniature replica of the Colosseum just isn’t as good as the real thing - you’d be much better off with a second-hand leather handbag, or some vintage sunglasses, to remind you of your visit to the Eternal City.
1. Porta Portese
Porta Portese is a true Roman institution. This chaotic street market on the edge of Trastevere sells just about everything. Expect to find fur coats, vinyl, power tools, paintings of the Virgin Mary, obsolete computer consoles, books, cacti, incense, gas masks. If you can imagine it, someone at Porta Portese is probably selling it. The market is absolutely massive, and depending on where you enter, you may have to walk a bit before you get to the good stuff, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Even if you don’t buy anything, browsing the stalls and people-watching is a fun way to spend a Sunday morning.
Via di Porta Portese, Sunday 6.00-14.00
2. Mercato di Via Sannio
This market in the San Giovanni neighbourhood is a bit like a smaller, more manageable version of Porta Portese, and is particularly good for second-hand clothes, leather goods and cheap jewellery. Prices are low, but you can try haggling for a better bargain.
Via Sannio Monday-Saturday 7.30-14.00
3. Vintage Market & Co
A more upmarket flea market located in a theatre, selling high quality vintage goods and accessories. It’s the place to see and be seen, as the website explains: “not an ordinary flea market but a true event, where the customer is both the audience and the performer”. Come here on a Sunday for brunch and a browse, while enjoying some live music.
Teatro Quirinetta, Via Marco Minghetti 5, occasional Sundays 11.00-21.00
4. Borghetto Flaminio
This market prides itself on quality, and a charges a small entrance fee. Instead of wasting time rummaging through rubbish, you can expect to find vintage sunglasses, second-hand designer goods and jewellery. You might also come across some stalls selling vintage household items and antique furniture. The market is housed in a bus depot just a short walk from Piazza del Popolo, and is recommended by TripAdvisor reviewers as a more relaxing, worthwhile flea market experience. It may not have the character of Porta Portese, but sometimes there’s only so much “character” you can take early on a Sunday morning.
Piazza della Marina 32, Sunday 10.00-19.00
5. Mercato Monti
Located right next to Cavour metro station (line B), Mercato Monti is popular with fashion-conscious locals for its eclectic range of stalls. It’s not strictly a flea market, as most of the stalls sell brand-new clothes and accessories, but there are plenty of second-hand goods too - look out for vintage coats, dresses and sunglasses. Prices are higher, but the products are good quality and stall owners are friendly and happy to chat.
Via Leonina 46, Saturday and Sunday 10.00-20.00
~by Alexandra Turney~
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