Piazza Dei Ciompi Flea Market

Piazza dei Ciompi Flea Market

 

In the Sant’ Ambrogio area of Florence is one of my absolute favorite places – the Piazza dei Ciompi Flea Market. Walking East from the Duomo towards Piazza Beccaria (or from Lions Fountain to Monkey Bar, if you use landmarks like I do, which I know you probably don’t) you’ll come across Vasari’s Loggia dei Pesce, which used to be in the area of present-day Piazza Republica before the Unification of Italy. It was reassembled in Piazza dei Ciompi in 1956, and has stood there ever since.

Piazza dei Ciompi is often the subject of debate amongst Florentines. The market stalls are a bit run-down and while they should probably be updated, Italians are notoriously conservative and resistant to change. In their defence, Italian government is also notorious for screwing up these “renewal” efforts by taking something broken and breaking it even more.

Proposals for redoing the Piazza and it’s signature markets are constantly being proposed. I heard a year or two ago that one such proposal had been decided on, but as is typical of Florentines, no one could agree if this was a terrible tragedy or a momentous triumph. As is typical of Florence, I haven’t heard anything about it in a long time and have no idea if or when it’s going forward. If you know more than I do, feel free to enlighten me in the comments!

 

Piazza dei Ciompi Flea Market: Daily

florence piazza dei ciompi flea market

florence piazza dei ciompi vintage

All “polemica” aside, I love this piazza. The market stalls are filled with vintage and antique finds of every kind – from postcards and teacups to lamps and furniture. To be honest the hours are a bit of a mystery. I read somewhere 9am to 7:30pm, which seems about right from my experience, but really it’s whenever the shop owners are around and feel like it. The store pictured above overflowing with lamps is one that’s reliably open, but I challenge you to find a day and time when they’re all open at the same time. If you do, please report back to me because that would be seriously useful information.

 

Piazza dei Ciompi Flea Market: Every Last Sunday of the Month

Piazza Ciompi montly flea market

 

Every Last Sunday of the month the normal market expands into the surrounding streets, with more than 100 stands of every kind of antique and vintage item you can imagine, as well as some repurposed and handmade items thrown into the mix. Anyone up for some treasure hunting??

 

piazza dei ciompi antique market florence

piazza dei ciompi flea market firenze

 

You’ll find everything from skeleton keys and teacups to vintage designer bags and hats. If you’re looking for a vintage book to grace your coffee table, a vintage lamp to decorate your apartment, or an adorable 1930s shot glass to add to your collection, you’ll find it here. I actually do have collections of thrifted liquor glasses and espresso cups, so I try to pick a little something up whenever I can (espresso cups go for as little as €3). There’s one stand that’s full of WWII memorabilia and antique scuba gear. Please use the scuba helmet and Axis WWII souvenirs with equal caution.

For anyone looking for unique souvenirs, gifts or coffee table pieces to brag about, I highly recommend the Piazza dei Ciompi Flea Market in Florence.

 

Piazza dei Ciompi

Hours: Daily 9am – 7:30pm, extended market last Sunday of every month
Sant’ Ambrogio/Santa Croce Area
Florence 50122

 

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Tiana Kai

    Love the pics and love to stroll around this area once in a while. I used to pass by more often last year and somehow stopped going to Sant’Ambrogio as much as I would like to.

    The purses don’t look that real to me…the edge stitching looks off on the Chanel and the Gucci medallion looks like a bad knock off. Since you were there in person do you really think they’re real? I guess it always depends on the asking price too. The Dior gaucho looks pretty decent though…oh well, just wondered. I’m annoyed by all the fake purses in the world. People mention it’s an Italian thing, but forget that it’s a universal thing that basically comes from a class thing. ;-) If they’re real then awesome!!

    1. Krista

      I didn’t look very closely at them because I wasn’t looking to buy any of them. I think they were priced between 100 & 200, which for vintage designer is too low. I’m honestly no expert though. I have a couple of designer purses that were gifts, but I would definitely need to do some research before every buying one from a vendor like that!

  2. georgette

    great post Krista! I do like browsing that market even if I (admittingly) almost never buy anything. It really does need a much-needed revamp, I could totally see cute little coffee stands and other artisan stalls included in this area. It certainly has a plethora of potential! I love that you included the history of the Piazza :). bravissima!

    1. Krista

      Thanks georgette! I think it’s kind of charming now, but a facelift is definitely in order. A little vintage-inspired coffee shop would be adorable!

  3. Cat

    Just came across your page and SO happy about it! Where can I go to possibly buy fake but good designer purses? Which non-touristy areas / places do you recommend for just sitting outside, drinking a cafe and watching the locals?

    Thank you! Greeting from Los Angeles!

    Cat

    1. Krista

      Hi Cat! I’m glad you found my blog and happy that you like it! :)
      Are you planning a trip to Italy soon?
      I’m not a great judge of fake designer purses, but these flea markets can be a pretty good bet. Stay tuned for more posts about monthly markets like this one!
      For a less toursity area to relax and people watch I recommend the Oltrarno, which is the area across the river around Piazza Pitti and Piazza Santo Spirito. If you wander the littl streets around there you’ll find lots of adorable spots that are surpisingly quiet.

      Give my best to LA, it’s been a while since I’ve been back and I miss it!

      1. Cat

        Awesome! Thank you so much!! Great advice!!

  4. Jon Howard

    We went to check out the flea market today & it’s closed – permanently, it looks like. The ‘permanent’ stalls in the centre of Piazza Dei Ciompi are all fenced off & look set for demolition (some of them are already smashed up) and there were no stalls in the surrounding area, despite it being the last Sunday of the month. So disappointing!

  5. Valerie Gray

    Hi Kristi,

    Going to Florence on 12th April, and accidentally came upon your blog, Found it very interesting,
    Definitely visiting the Piazza dei Ciompi Love browsing round flea markets. Many thanks
    Valerie Gray

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