Meet Tatiana, one of the more than 500 vendors who travel from all over Italy to sell their wares at the Arezzo Antique/Flea Market. The market is held in the vast Piazza Grande and countless side streets the first Sunday of every month and the Saturday before. Except for September, when Arezzo hosts the yearly jousting match. If you don’t know Arezzo here’s the lowdown: it’s about 50 miles southeast of Florence, the seat of its own Tuscan province. There’s much medieval art to see in Arezzo, including Piero Della Francesco’s frescoes. The town is beautiful. It was the location for the Academy-award winning movie, “Life is Beautiful”.
On a future trip to Italy, try just once to visit the Arezzo Antique/Flea Market. It makes many of those lists of the best flea markets in Europe. There’s something for everyone here: artwork, furniture, pots, dishes, jewelry, bric-a-brac of all sorts, antique-whatevers, cloth, dolls, engravings, postcards. All of it fascinating–and fun.
You know what they say: there’s a lid for every pot.
Above, we have various pieces of pottery. Below a jumble of wine bottle openers. I should have bought one. Next time.
There are at a few Italian phrases you should learn before you go, besides the usual polite greetings of buon giorno for the morning greeting or buona sera for the greeting used after about noon:
1. Quanto costa questo? How much does this cost?
2. Mi fa un più bel prezzo? Can you make me a better (prettier) price? Or: Mi fa un sconto? Can you offer me a reduced price?
Be prepared to bargain. They expect it. I made an uncharacteristic mistake last summer when I took friends to the market. I speak Italian so I was doing a lot of the bargaining. My friend really wanted a Murano glass vase for sale for 60 Euro. I asked the vendor if she’d take 50 Euro for it. When she immediately said yes, I knew I probably could have gotten it for about 40 Euro if I had done the ritual “dance” around the price.
Several vendors haul in various architectural pieces like the one you see below, with a couple of fanciful teapots sitting on it to keep it company.
Silverware, belt buckles. One gentleman comes in from London and sells, for fabulous prices, complete sets of antique British silverware. Fish forks anyone? I spent a while looking at one set as a woman hovered nearby just barely in my field of view. I debated and debated and decided to think about it. I walked away and she stepped in and bought the set in a second. You snooze, you lose.
Old wooden washboards, in abundance. Wood tables, guitars.
These candelabra look like they came off the sunken Titanic. I’m almost positive someone bought them. Anyhow, get to the Arezzo Antique/Flea Market. Even if you don’t buy anything, enjoy the town, the vendors, the food and that great Tuscan sun!