Called by the Sunday Market in Rome
I knew something was up when we woke to the sounds of banging metal bars at 6 am.
It was Sunday in Rome and that means Market Day.
Every Sunday, it starts at around 6 am and ends at around 2 pm.
Peeking out the balcony from our flat onto the square of Largo Alesandro Toja in Trastevere, I saw market stalls popping up like mushrooms. The stands were lining adjacent streets for as far as my eyes could see.
The biggest market in Italy was rising to all its glory. I was excited and we got up way earlier than usual (which means that we managed to leave the house after noon).
We tried what has been claimed impossible – to see all of the market – and so first took a walk along Via Portuense, all the way to the famous Roman gate Porta Portese where the market ends. Or begins.
Then, we made a loop strolling along Via Trastevere, to get a good overview. Actually, the market wasn’t as big as I thought.
I saw the prettiest gas station on the way (which I agree is totally irrelevant to this post).
Filled with stands to the brim, the Sunday Market mainly displayed cheap or second hand clothes and shoes, mostly Made in China clothing and other low quality stuff. The market is mostly new articles.
Endless rows of leather bags.
Endless piles with shoes.
There was one peculiar stand with coats and jackets that had all labels meticulously cut out. I even liked one black coat but not after being told it was 300 Euros because from Max Mara. I was wondering why the seller had removed all proof, if indeed it was a designer item.
But mostly, prices were mirroring quality.
I am a great fan of markets and my expectations were high. Truthfully, I was a bit disappointed. But I have seen my fair share of most beautiful and most exotic markets.
I can’t remember missing out on Cologne’s flea markets where people sell their old furniture, household stuff and odd personal things, which makes it a great experience and a real treasure hunt – especially true when flanking the river Rhine on top.
The least I expected to find in Rome’s most famous market, was a sorta low key garage sale atmosphere with Italian people selling their stuff.
This market was mainly offering mass produced goods. Interestingly enough, most sellers with their professional white stands were immigrants. The sight was no different to what I saw, when coming out of Rome’s main train station.
There are two streets at the market that I found had a teeny weeny more older things and furniture. Via Ippolito Nievo and Via Parboni.
But again, these were not private sellers with their belongings, rather shrewd retailers.
I tried to find as many unique items and stands as I could. This is the best I could do.
Here are some Sunday Market oddities.
There was one guy solely selling sea shells.
Some shells were playing poker.
For 7 Euros, you can get a Jennifer Lopez booty.
Priceless set. Silver meets plastic.
One lady had established a lace heaven. Her stand looks like an overdimensional ghost.
Creepy dolls anyone?
From the 70s. The workout bike.
One of the slightly more unique jewellery stands.
I was hoping to find a brooch for my new vintage outfit from Prague, and wasn’t going to give up. We tried another street. My feeling is, that in Rome, I got to try harder, because Rome doesn’t really care.
And it worked. Eventually I found this stand. And a brooch! Yay for achieving my goal! (But nay to the lady that got really mad when I took a picture of her stand, although having just bought the brooch without haggling at all – Italian temper will remain a mystery to me.)
My new vintage brooch and me at our Italian home.
BTW Note that there is no food, except the occasional tiny fast food stands. It is not a food market – which would actually be a good idea to turn it into, to make it somewhat more unique.
The day was still young and, animated by this pope find, we left for a visit to the Vatican.
Coming up, the holiest place on earth. Let’s see, if it really is!