If the swanky boutiques on the via Condotti and via del Corso are not for you, flea markets in Rome are the perfect place for some one-of-a-kind souvenir hunting.
Many of the open-air markets are held on weekends and only accept cash. The best selection of items is first thing in the morning so make sure you hit an ATM after your breakfast cappuccino and you will be ready to go explore the best flea markets in Rome.
1. Porta Portese
This Roman institution takes up kilometers of space every weekend in a neighborhood on the edge of Trastevere. The Porta Portese market is crowded and chaotic and there is just as much junk as real treasure here so come prepared to elbow your way to the good stuff. The literally thousands of stalls sell just about anything you can imagine from massive pieces of antique furniture fit for a palazzo to boxes of buttons from design houses. The clothing and fabric selection is seemingly endless. You can dig through piles of fur collars or linen tablecloths to find your perfect piece.
Insider’s tip: If your stamina is flagging, there are a few food stalls scattered throughout the market for a snack or indulge in a Maritozzo pastry from the bar at the entrance near Trastevere train station
When: Sundays from 5 a.m.–2 p.m.
2. Monti Market
This market in the basement of a large hotel in the Monti neighborhood features a rotating mix of young Italian makers and collectors. Mercato Monti is the complete other end of the spectrum from the free-for-all atmosphere at Porta Portese. Everything here is thoughtfully displayed and well curated. Busy and often with a DJ spinning there is friendly vibe here. Each of the sellers has an interesting story to tell so make sure to ask questions about what they are selling. You will find vintage sunglasses, long strands of hand knotted glass beads, and handmade clothing and purses.
When: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
3. Borghetto Flaminio Market
This very elegant flea market is held every Sunday morning in the northern residential neighbor of Flaminio. It is about a 10 minute walk north from the Piazza del Popolo.
The Borghetto Flaminio Market has a small entrance fee of about €2. The cost is worth it because this is the market you where might find a vintage Pucci shift or a knee length mink coat. It is not just clothes at this well organized market. You will find antiques from the 1800s to mid-century, paintings, stacks of vinyl and housewares.
When: Sundays from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
4. Affare Fatto l’Usato di Moda
This large second-hand shop is across the street from the Circo Massimo. It may look jumbled, but all of the items are well marked and organized at Affare Fatto l’Usato di Moda. There is a little bit of everything here including used and vintage clothing, vinyl records, and kitchenware. A shelf of someone else’s discarded souvenirs might be just the gift you are looking for. If you love Italian ceramics make sure this shop is on your trip agenda. There is usually an excellent selection Umbrian and Amalfi Coast style plates, bowls and platters. If you are really lucky there will be a stack of Buon Ricordo plates.
5. Mercato di Via Sannio
This neighborhood market is open every day of the week except Sunday. You will find the Mercato di Via Sannio just beyond the ancient walls near the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. The first part of of this market has stalls that are selling new, cheap clothes and housewares. Head further in and you will find the stalls with used and vintage clothing.