The spirit of market shopping


I love the distinctly European open air market. It is a treat to wander through the stalls to find something special either at a surprisingly low price or with the potential for bartering the price down.

There is something satisfying about discovering a bargain that is also quirky and unique. Often the things I find appeal to my love of all things vintage or they express something that I like about myself. It’s about cultivating personal taste and you don’t really need to spend a fortune to do that.

In Italy they are really big on markets, not only for fresh fruit and vegetables but also for handbags, shoes and clothing. Here in Sicily where I live each town has it’s market day and you can easily go to a different market everyday of the week. It would be silly to do this every day but every once in a while can be fun.

Here are a few cute little things I found on my last market day splurge recently.


I fell instantly in love with this cute vintage style handbag. At first the butterfly detail put me off but I’m a sucker for a little black bag and the cool handles and vintage shape sold me. Can you believe I picked it up for only three Euros!


I have seen a lot of this mock red coral jewelry around here in Sicily, the real stuff costs a packet and most of the designs are really heavy and gaudy which is unappealing. These small roses are still a little on the big side for me but I think I could decide to wear either the earrings or the necklace to brighten up a little black dress or top in a moment of extravagance. The earrings are accompanied by what I was told were river pearls. Aren’t they cute? The earrings and necklace were five Euro a piece.


I’ve always been a sucker for sunglasses and I can never resist treating myself to a new pair every once in a while. I was casually trying this pair on when my niece said I looked like an ‘Americana,’ something of a compliment, she meant I looked like a movie star. I was easily convinced. They are defiantly vintage and so I love them. Not bad for four Euro’s.


For some reason I seemed to have been without any summer scandals and so I was surprised by the discovery of an outlet stall with everything on sale and promptly renewed my summer shoe wardrobe. I brought three pairs, one casual, one a little more dressy and the last one with a bit of a platform heel. Three pairs of scandals came to fifteen Euros

The trick about shopping in a market is not to expect to find anything in particular but simply let chance guide you and destiny will give you many surprises. It pays to be spontaneous.