Shopping in Rome: Porta Portese market, hunting for vintage and antiques
Porta Portese market is one of the most popular places in Rome. A must-see destination for tourists, it allows you to find lots of collectibles, antiques, fabrics, jewelry and vintage clothing.
The history of Porta Portese market
Porta Portese has become the symbol of the Rome market. Often known for being described and named in songs and films, it was born in 1945, immediately after the war. In this place, the Romans gathered to exchange and sell any type of object. The tradition has continued up today, with new entries such as Chinese, Moroccan, Indian as well as those selling Made in Italy stands. Located in Piazza di Porta Portese, it starts in Via Ippolito Nievo, till Via Portuense and Viale Trastevere. The market is open to visitors and tourists every Sunday from 6 am and it closes at 2pm. Remember the best deals can be more easily found early in the morning closing time. If you are a tourist, the Rome's largest and most famous Sunday market is certainly not to be missed. However, you must take into account that it is not recommended to go there by car because it is not easy to find parking. Use public transport and go by feet.
What to find at Porta Portese market
Born as a market where mainly trinkets were exchanged and sold, nowadays you can also find many antique and vintage pieces. In this place you can buy any sorts of objects: old books, toys, collectible disks, jewelry but also fabrics, pieces of furniture, cosmetics, vintage clothes and postcards. In addition to this, there are also benches offering the famous "porchetta" and other tasty Roman delicacies.
However, we must always keep in mind that Porta Portese is not a food market, therefore the protagonists are all those small and large objects that have made and continue to make the place famous from the past to the present.
One of the main features of almost all stalls is their low price range. In addition to the possibility of negotiating with Moroccan counters, it is not uncommon to find clothing at about € 10. This type of low-cost shopping attracts many tourists and visitors competing for the best pieces. For this reason, during the central hours of the day, it can also be very difficult to walk and shop in the market due to the high number of people.
If you are interested in antique stands, you will certainly not be disappointed and indeed, you will have a lot to do looking for antique exhibitors. Among the pieces you can surely find there are pieces of furniture - often made of antique wood -, chairs, tables but also smaller pieces and objects such as paintings, prints, antique frames, clocks, mirrors, tea sets and much more.
There are also vintage products, desired by many tourists looking for good deals. There are lots of used shoe stands, both for adults and children, often of well-known and famous brands. You can find footwear items typical of the fashion of the past at very low and favourable prices. In addition to this, the real discovery is that of vintage clothing, well preserved and in excellent condition, often sold for € 2. Nevertheless, jackets and fur coats can also be found for higher but affordable prices, taking into account they date back to past historical periods.
In addition to the market of fabrics, clothes and vintage footwear, there are also jewels, such as bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Finally, hair accessories such as vintage headbands, headbands, tweezers, hair clips and brooches.
Moreover, since Porta Portese market is really huge, you can also find vintage pieces ideal for collectors. There are old postcards, vinyl records, vintage radios, porcelain dolls and old magazines of the past.
All these stands selling vintage items are by a melting pot of vendors from different parts of the world: this is how Porta Portese has now become a meeting point for many cultures, such as the Chinese, Moroccan, Indian, Nigerian and even Peruvian. All these street vendors sell and offer their objects and their typical clothing.
Porta Portese market is the most famous and known one in the city and for this reason it is always very crowded by tourists there just to see the enormous availability of objects and clothing without having any idea of buying. However, it is really difficult to leave the market without having bought anything. Likewise, it is important to inform visitors that there are many pickpockets that go unnoticed during the central hours of the day. For this reason, it is always good to pay attention to the wallet and also to the many beggars in the area.
A final suggestion is to always negotiate on the price because you can often make good deals, especially with Indian and African vendors.
In conclusion, Porta Portese market is a great place in the city, where you can go shopping in Rome, in a way different from the usual. Antiques and vintage items are the protagonists but you can also find new items, cosmetics and international products for home and person. Surely, the tourist visiting Porta Portese market is struck by the colours, by the typically Roman climate you can breathe walking around the stands, and by the local tradition too. This place is still defined as one of the few where to be able to breathe life, customs and habits of the ancient Rome, satisfying the majority of people for the rich offer of items on sale.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Oxford, the ideal starting point to discover Rome!