Senti. (Listen). I need new shoes.
I do not mean “need” in the metaphorical “it would be nice to have” sense. I mean I actually for once in my life really need new shoes. In the past six weeks, I have thrown away four pairs, and this is not sustainable.
Thankfully, I am back in Rome and can see Porta Portese in my future.
Porta Portese is Rome’s sprawling flea market. It is dirty and filled with cheap purses and unnecessary kitchen gadgets.
However, if you know where to wander, you can also find some unique and vintage pieces, like sunny kitchen scales and enamel tea pots. Unfortunately, the guy who owns this stand?
He is super grumpy. All the time. He will not bargain. But I still go and look to see if there is something I cannot live without.
If you want to find him, you should enter from the Ponte Testaccio end of the market, rather than Ponte Sublicio. You can walk along Via Ettore Rolli and look for the small neighborhood park. He is always here, near some other sellers of more antique wares.
If you want the purses and cheap shoes? You can enter right through Porta Portese and walk along Via Portuense. The easiest way to arrive is to take the number 3 bus from Piramide. When you cross the bridge, get off at the first stop. This won’t be hard because you will likely be carried away by the crowd spilling off the bus to hit up the Sunday shopping stands.
There are plenty of plastic sunglasses.
And leather jackets. Which may or may not be leather. And may or may not have “fallen off the back of a truck.”
But I prefer the lazy Sunday approach in which you drink plenty of coffee and then take the time to seek out the less industrially produced pieces.
You never know what you will find if you take the time.
The mercato antiquarian starts around Piazza Ippolito Nievo, easily reached via the 8 tram or H bus.
Oh. And watch out for pick pockets.
Porta Portese Market
Via Portuense and Via Ippolito Nievo
Sundays Only – 7 am to 1 pm