It is hard to resist a good antiques market and now that the weather is cooling, it’s the perfect moment to begin exploring. We have shortlisted a few of our favourite markets in the region, some of which are more flea than antique but it is always fun browsing the miscellaneous hand tools, picture frames, baskets, books, paintings, furniture, lighting and other vintage items, and a great weekend activity once the harvest is over and winter is in sight.
Dating back to 1968, the Arezzo antique market has grown significantly over the years. The market takes over the main streets of the city around Piazza Grande and Piazza San Francesco, where you can find around 500 antiques vendors. It is held on the first weekend of every month. (**Arezzo is also a wonderful place to eat and drink (email us if you would like some recommendations)
and also contains two dramatic artworks: The Crucifix by Cimabue, 1267-1271, in the Basilica of San Domenico; and The Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca, 1452-1456, in the Basilica of San Francesco.)
It’s no surprise that Florence has wonderful markets. There is a permanent flea market in Piazza Annigoni, where you can find a selection of second hand books, jewellery, crafts, records and various antique items. The Mercato Arti e Mestieri dell’Oltrarno is held every second Sunday of the month in Piazza Santo Spirito. Alternatively, try Indipendenza Antiquaria, held in Piazza Indipendenza every third Saturday and Sunday of the month (excluding July and August when it is just a Sunday event).
Lucca is host to the second oldest antiques fair in Italy on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month. It’s popular with collectors, so aim to arrive at around mid-morning before the rush. Spread across Pza Antelminelli, Pza San Giusto, Pza San Giovanni, Pza San Martino, Pza Bernardini and Via del Battistero, you will find a wide selection of prints, textiles and furniture. (One of our favourite local restaurants is L’Imbuto in Piazza del Collegio. Tell them we sent you.)
During the second weekend of each month, there is an antique and artisan fair in Montepulciano selling everything from second-hand clothing to crafts, prints and antiques. It is held in Piazza Grande, Montepulciano. For more information, visit www.prolocomontepulciano.it.
Closer to home, on the first Sunday of each month we have an arts, crafts and antiques market in Panzano where you can also find a few stands producing local foods, cosmetics and the like. (Be sure to call into Enoteca Baldi for a drink/ something to eat.)
Paolo at Chianti Shine
For any magpies out there that just love all of this but are not planning to visit Tuscany at the moment, check out Paolo on Instagram @paolochiantishine as he often has some real gems and can ship globally.