Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Markets of Rome: Porta Portese

Porta Portese is one of the most popular open markets in Rome and definitely the biggest: it starts from Via Portuense and spreads along the tiny streets merging with Viale Trastevere.
As the name says, it's located beyond Porta Portese, one of the gates of the Papal Rome, opening on Via Portuense, the old road that leads to the Roman docks (as the name says!) of Porto and Fiumicino.
The flea market of Porta Portese is not as old as one may think: its germ dated the years of the Nazi occupation as a black market and developed into a "proper" flea market after 1945.
Originally dedicated and famous for vintage items and antique trade, in modern times it lost most of its appeal and "authenticity", but it's still worth a walk as long are you can manage to spare yourself of the intoxication from the so-called "global-crap".

You can find a characteristic spot if you dare to climb over the Clivo Portuense.
The original market of Porta Portese is obviously composed of stands, but some of the "oldest" stands turned into mini-shops (called lotto, which basically means "piece of land").
Even if most of them are not very attractive to the average tourist, as they are specialized on stuff like bikes and motorbikes, I think that they are still worth a look, as they still keep that Roman 70s vibe:

After this short walk, we can get back to the "main market" just by following the road:

I'm going to focus on the stands selling the antiques, as they were the peculiarity of this market.
You can find practically EVERYTHING, and it all looks so "fishy", LOL, it's very thrilling!

At a certain post I got lost.
I was sure that I walked for a while, though!

The antiques of the market are really fun and interesting to look at.
It's intriguing to look around all those items apparently looking like trash, but that could hide some treasure, if just of the nostalgic kind.

Among the stands I found this Chinese vendor selling stuff that looked surprisingly authentic, even if not as "ancient" as it was supposed to look.
It was a nice change of pace, as usually Chineses are associated with crappy clothes and useless gadgets:

And to close this post a few shots of the ruins that you can spot along Lungotevere Portuense.
The place, now pretty much neglected and ran down, hosts the remains of a Villa from the XVI century and a former boatyard of the Papal Navy:

"Porta Portese, cosa vuoi di piĆ¹∼"

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