What could be better than strolling age-old cobblestone streets in search of the perfect gift? Anyone who has every shopped in the sprawling flea markets in Rome will tell you two distinct things. Wear comfortable shoes and come armed with a wallet full of Euro! Markets in Italy are wonderful for the tourist looking for the perfect treasures to bring home. Here one could spend hours strolling through colorful displays of clothing, trinkets and even local food! Here are a few helpful tips to make your day at Roman flea markets a little more enjoyable and a little less stressful.
1.) When shopping at any Italian market remember to barter. Sellers have marked up items and are willing, if not wanting, to barter with customers. That wonderful Italian leather purse marked for $40 Euro can be yours for $30 if you know a few basics in Italian and can charm the seller with broken attempts of speaking their language.
2) Purchasing more than one item will get you a better deal! Did you find the perfect marble statue to bring back to Great-Aunt Betty? How about one for your sister Lily? Bartering for two of the exact same items will cost you less in the long run!
3) Get there early and shop further from the beginning of the market. Shop keepers tend to compete with one another and walking a little further can get you a very good deal.
4) Don’t miss out on trying the food! Vender’s at Italian markets have wonderful snacks and treats! Try some fried mash potato balls or deep-fried squid! Watch for a moment on what the locals are purchasing and be adventurous!
5) Wear comfortable shoes and bring an umbrella! Cobblestone in Rome can be torture on your feet! Leave the trendy high heels at the hotel and opt for walking shoes instead. Remember that the weather in Italy can be unpredictable and a seemingly beautiful day can turn very quickly.
6) Bring something to carry your purchases in! In most European countries shopkeepers do not bag your items! Bring a large canvas bag with you to put your treasures in!
7)Be careful of pushy sales people from other countries! Most of the items being sold by those other than Romans themselves are overpriced and these “salespeople” will follow you until you agree to purchase something! These items being sold are usually stolen and can get you in big trouble with custom agents while traveling home!
Have fun while shopping in Rome, use these wonderful markets as a break in your hectic tourist schedule! Barter and get a great deal to take home. Ciao!
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