madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking

market treasures

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Antiques Fair in Arezzo, Southern Tuscany

My husband and I have an inordinate passion for flea markets. When we lived in Zürich in the mid 90s, we spent all our free time rummaging through dusty boxes of wonders.  “Normal” people would run home or to the café after a long day of work. We, on the other hand, would meet in some icy cold warehouse to try our luck with the day arrivals. A few times we even woke up at the crack of dawn for the opening of a liquidation sale.

Spring was particularly hectic, with all the outdoor markets, no time for a romantic picnic on the Alps. As a result we collected enough stuff to furnish and decorate our home here in Umbria as well as all the guest rooms of our B&B.  We probably have in storage enough stuff for another house!

For me, going to a flea market is like walking into a fairy tale. It’s a window open on the life and strangeness of others. It’s a study on the definition of beauty and necessity. I mean, who needs a rabbit shaped tureen? A porcelain octopus? A spare pair of wings?

But that’s how it goes: you throw away something which I find valuable and attractive. Still, there cannot be that much demand for the life-size ceramic dogs, can it?

The video below is about the Antique fair in Arezzo, probably the largest in Central Italy. It’s held on the first Sunday of each month and its’ a fabulous place for dreamers. Do go.  If you don’t buy too much you might have  enough money to see the splendid Piero della Francesca frescoes.  Really, a dream day.

PS. For more information and beautiful pictures on Arezzo please visit my friend Sandra’s blog

Author: madonnadelpiatto

Former scientist, I now run B&B and cooking school Alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy, together with my husband Ruurd, daughter Tea and truffle dog Google. We love good food and wine, travel, beautiful handicrafts like textiles and pottery. We feel fortunate to be able to share our magical mountain with many friends from all over the world.

10 thoughts on “market treasures

  1. Nice video Letizia! I am an avid thrift shop and flea market nut! It is so much fun and so rewarding finding the treasures that are in these places! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Fun video, Letizia, I love the effects you’ve used for the title page!

    I’ve read about Arezzo’s antique market, it looks really interesting — some of the furniture looks like it could be quite beautiful (unlike, say, the glass octopus!)

    Arezzo is a beautiful town, I’m looking forward to visiting it again in June. Maybe I can time things well enough to stop by the antique market AND again visit the truly splendid Piero della Francesca frescos.

    Be sure to save me a room at your B+B for June!

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  3. Your post reminds me of a favourite children’s book called ‘Monster Garage Sale’ which ends with the lines ” And he threw back his arms and cried with pleasure, One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Sadly all my old treasure, which could also fill many houses, was lost in the February bushfires. It is an interesting exercise in downsizing, to lose thirty years of collected treasure. Do we ‘need’ so much stuff? I am back on the collecting path, but this time, I am far more selective.

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  4. Dear Morgana, objects are only objects. Sometimes we do loose them and it’s terrible but not irreparable as long as our soul holds strong. Hugs. L.

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  5. Ciao Letizia :) Loved seeing the video of the Arezzo Antiques Fair and love your photo. I took a daytrip to Arezzo this past summer (2nd daytrip there). I really love Arezzo. I even almost stayed there but ended up staying in Florence instead. I didn’t realize you lived in Zurich.

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    • Ciao Girasoli, in my previous life, feels like eons ago, I have lived in several countries. Zurich was actually the longer stretch, so we bought the equivalent of two large trucks of stuff to use to furnish our house here is Assisi. It was fantastic fun!

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  6. My family and I have been to Arrezzo. It was a dream to take my children to Italy and I was able to do so. It shall remain one of my fondest travel memories. This is my first visit to your blog what certainly much last. Do you cook anything using Cardi or carduni? I’m in love with them. Ciao

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