I’m typically not a flea market kind of person. I’m good for about 10, maybe 15 minutes, then I’m ready to hit the road. However, our friend Michelangelo told us about a place near Citta di Castello that is only open on Sunday mornings and is kind of a charity shop. People donate all manner of things and they (loosely) organize it and the money benefits some kind of charity. I’m not sure which cause it goes to, but this is very similar to the Habitat ReStore concept, a place very close to my heart. That’s where the resemblance begins and ends, however.
When we drove up, we saw a parking area in what looked like a field, so we lined our car up with the others and got out. Looking around, it appeared to be some kind of recycling center, junk yard, or industrial dumping ground. We followed the people along a path around some sheds and found a big open area with anything you could imagine scattered around. Kitchen sinks, bicycles, doors, huge wine jugs, bed frames, mirrors, marble slabs – you name it. There was a big warehouse type building at one end with all kinds of housewares – dishes, linens, clothes, TVs, etc. Nothing has a price on it – you just find an employee and ask. I think they make up a price on the fly. Some of the items are antiques and lovely vintage pieces. Some are just junk. We got two sturdy wooden side chairs with rush seats for the unfurnished upstairs apartment, a set of four vintage linen napkins, a couple of beautiful platters, and a set of
dishes and glasses for the upstairs – all for 32 euro. It was an absolute treasure trove. Most of the housewares were quality things that I’m sure came from a nonna’s house and the grandkids didn’t want. It was packed full of stuff and I could have dug through there for a while. But they were limiting the number of people in there and I felt like my time was up when I saw the long of people waiting to come in. I’ll definitely go back – and try to find more places like it. I have one friend in particular who would have loved it. I’m looking at you, Myra!
When we got back to Anghiari, they were having their monthly antiques market. What a day for browsing and bargains! I got two vintage pillowcases that are just lovely. I cannot pass up vintage linens. They are just so beautiful and well made. Most of them have initials embroidered on them and I just know they were part of some long ago bride’s wedding gifts.
Maybe I like this kind of shopping because it’s so different from what I’m used to. Maybe it’s because the things harken back to a more elegant time, an era that I’m familiar with, but one so culturally different from what I know. All I know is that rooting around in that funky warehouse out in a cow pasture was the most fun I’ve had in a while. And I scored some pretty great bargains to boot.