Italy TravelThe Arezzo Antiques Market in Tuscany

The Arezzo Antiques Market in Tuscany
Published on Saturday, November 29, 2014 by

arezzo-marketOn the first Sunday of each month, 30,000 shoppers descend on the city of Arezzo in Tuscany, eager to see what the 500-plus vendors of antiques and bricabrac will offer at their stalls. Some of these vendors have been around for so long (the fair dates back to 1968) that they have permanent shops—about 100 or so of these line the Piazza San Francesco and its environs.

The Arezzo market  is large and varied enough that it makes a perfect day trip. Someone who just wants to look will find items from many different parts of Italy; the person searching for “just the right souvenir” can paw through trays of jewelry, postcards, and china; and connoisseurs will find stalls and stores dedicated to specialties like maps, clocks, and silver. There is even a section dedicated to furniture restorers and fine woodworking, so bring along that carved chair you found in Brindisi.

Arezzo was once an important goldsmithing center, and still has lots of jewelry shops, but that history has provided the town with a comfortable, affluent vibe that means there are plenty of other shops and restaurants to tempt visitors who need a break from antiquing. (A bonus for film buffs: The cathedral was used as a backdrop in native son Roberto Benigni’s 1997 Life Is Beautiful.) However, the faithful and determined should plan to arrive by 9 a.m. (best selection) and stay through late afternoon (best haggling).

A few more tips: Bring cash. Do bargain, but this is Italy, not Istanbul—no shouting, and no ridiculously low asks. Get the price, consider it a moment or two, then respond with a fair counteroffer. Each vendor must legally provide you with a receipt; however, “old” items like these are not subject to your tourist tax break. Keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to leave Arezzo empty handed—bring some tote bags and be prepared to carry what you buy.

By Kathy McCabe

Ready to travel to Italy? Perillo Tours has been leading group trips throughout Italy since 1945 and can custom design an independent itinerary for your dream Italy vacation!

Taking your first trip to Italy soon? Learn everything you need to know when you get your FREE copy of The First Timer’s Guide to Italy by contributor Kathy McCabe

Photo by maong,

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