Shopping in Florence: Street Fairs and Flea Markets |

Shopping in Florence: Street Fairs and Flea Markets

There are several open-air markets worth visiting including the Straw Market (known to Florentines as “Il Porcellino”) near Ponte Vecchio There’s also a market at Piazza Santa Croce, the “Mercato delle Cascine” near Ponte della Vittoria on Tuesday mornings, and Piazza Ciompi, Tel: (055) 3283515, which is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 to 12:30 and 15 to 10. On the last Sunday of each month dealers from all over Italy show up and non-dealers are permitted to sell. Mostly things from the beginning of this century, old radios and books, some items for collectors. Many Florentines like to buy their Christmas presents here. On the last Sunday of every month, Piazza Santo Spirito has a lot of stalls offering all kinds of bric-a-brac and there are even a few American students offering wares. You have to pick carefully among the stuff, but once in a while you find something nice. I bought a small wall thermometer framed in a decorator mirror, early thirties, for about $10 because it matched the decor in my bedroom, probably cost much less in the US, but then I wan’t in the US. Best find, a genuine thirties Schiaparelli charm bracelet featuring hearts, cupids, and wedding ring from a gentleman who bought it at a Christies auction in London, I paid $75. ù

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