One thing I love about living here in Sicily (and in Italy in general) is the Italian flair for the pointless public holiday (or rather a day off for any reason under the sun) and their ability to celebrate these with open air markets filled with a whole lot of crap and bargain for those willing to dig.
For example each town gets a day off during the year to celebrate their patron saint filled with processions and market day. The result is reasonably big towns who close off their main streets and fill them with endless stalls filled with every product possible (really from clothing, electrical appliances, live animals, food etc.)
In our neck of the woods in the Province of Messina in October there is the festa at Capo d’orlando and then in November at Sant’Agata. These two festivities create wonderful opportunities for people to stock up on winter clothing, buy Christmas presents in the pre-Christmas period and for the sly shopper buy some good-looking stuff without spending too much.
To be honest there is a lot of tacky stuff but the trick is to stick to the stalls set up by people who actually have real shops and avoid the dodgy Chinese lantern discount shops that have popped up all around Italy filled with cheap and nasty stuff.
I think there is a real skill in market shopping, hunting down quality for a good price and badgering stall owners for a better price is fun (I managed to get a handbag at half price, because I threatened to go to the next stall who I said were willing to give it to me for my price!!)
Apart from this my little boy loves the markets as they are filled with so many different things to see, he gets home totally exhausted but seeing his eyes light up is worth it.
So bring on the markets!