Porta Portese is the name of Rome‘s biggest and most colorful flea market. It takes place every Sunday morning (until 2pm) in the area around the Via Portuense and the Via Ippolito Nievo in the Trastevere district. It is named for the gate that gives access to the north side of the market.
Porta Portese Market Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Piazza Ippolito Nievo Rome. Opening hours: Sunday mornings from 07.00 till 14.00 (also when the Sunday morning coincides with a holiday).
History and description
There are more than seven hundred vendors at the Porta Portese market. You can buy anything from the smallest household articles to big pieces of (more or less) antique furniture. Haggling is a must, especially for foreigners.
Officially the market starts at 7am and continues until 2pm, but the real hours depend a lot on the weather. Italians detest rain so the slightest drop will make them stay away, which in turn will make the holders close their stands earlier than usual. In midsummer the market often closes earlier as well: The Romans themselves will have left town, there will only be a handful of tourists left and the market tends be quiet and empty.
Apart from the official stalls the so-called “vu-comprà ” sell their wares from sheets on the pavement.The vu-compr used to consist mainly of Africans selling illegal CD’s and DVD’s but now the Chinese and Bangladeshi have taken over and sell all kinds of articles from toys and fake jewelry to brand-name sunglasses and handbags that cannot be distinguished from the real ones. Remember that, although the law is rarely enforced, it is illegal to buy merchandise off illegal street vendors.
Pickpockets will try to sell here whatever they stole during the rest of the week, while other pickpockets are at work in the crowded alleyways between the Porta Portese market stalls, so be careful.
Do’s and Don’t’s at the Porta Portese Market:
- Go early, to avoid the biggest crowds.
- Haggle. Your blond hair and funny accent have just created double digit inflation, so you’d better try to bring the price down to a reasonable level. Try to think of how much you would be willing to pay for something before you start discussing the price.
- Speak English. Trying to speak Italian in order to be polite will just put you on the defense when trying to haggle.
- Keep your important documents, money, credit cards etc. in a safe place, preferably on your body, underneath your clothes (so no wallets in your back pocket, gentlemen, and your valuables are better off at the bottom of your handbag, ladies).