Sunday, 12 May 2013

Markets the way they should be... and laundry

Likely the biggest market in Rome is Porta Portese. Only open on Sundays, it's got to be multiple miles in total length, and given that most everything else in Rome is closed Sundays (including laundromats -- more on this adventure later), all of Rome turns up for this one.
Some of the hoardes
This isn't a fruit and vegetable market. It's a flea market extrordinaire. There's everything from shoes and clothes, to hardware, to leather goods, to leather-like goods, to sunglasses, to housewares, to coins and stamps, to toys, to used cameras, to mens suits and ties, to furniture, to "antiques", to used fake Rolexes to... well, darn near everything.

Everything except measuring cups. I need to buy a measuring cup for the apartment, since we don't have one. Three stalls in the whole market had uselessly huge 1 litre measuring cups.

So here's a sample of "stuff in the market".
Pots and Pans 
Watches. There was also a stall selling just watch straps 
A lot of something. What, I can't tell you
A mess of ties (Silk, but made in China)
More ties (Silk, made in Italy)
The luggage department 
RC helicopters. 
Glasses, all used.
Anything for 1€ brings in the crowds 
Shoes. Not the gaudiest, but close 
Not-leather bags 
Crappy home decor items
We walked for almost 3 hours and just barely got to everything. I was tempted by 2 pairs of sunglasses (a pair of mine broke on the flight over) and Karen by one dirt-cheap very cool not-leather bag ("Special price €20... Okay, for you, just €15... No? Well I could let it go for €10..."), and a stall with real leather bags (less haggling here). Otherwise, we just walked, and walked, and walked. We were entertained by a clothing stall vendor kicking a street vendor selling clothing knock offs out of the space in front of his stall (counterfeit clothing is illegal in Italy, the land of high end fashion). The people watching was cool, especially the throngs of Italians around any stall with €1 clothing.

We headed home, had lunch, then pulled together clothes as it is laundry day. We hopped the bus (there isn't a self serve laundry anywhere near us, which, given the number of apartments around, was a surprise), got to the laundromat our landlady told us about (in the shadows of the Vatican) and it was -- closed. So we hopped the bus and came home (round trip: 1 hr). KC spent time on line and found us another laundromat, so we carted everything up there (a 20 min walk away), prepped to sit and wait and... not only was it open, the attendant said "leave it to us; come back in 90 min". We bussed home, walked back and there it was all done.

Coming out, we found a nice "surprise". A restaurant owner was hosting a Mini Cooper Club party. His place was surrounded by Minis. Real ones. Like I used to own when I was a kid.
The Coopers lined up 
The new with the old 
Onto the street 
The restaurant owner's 1995 convertible 
That's what it's all about
Not sure what we're doing tomorrow. Lots of "stuff" is closed in Italy on both Sundays and Mondays. We thought about hitting up Tivoli Gardens, but they're closed Monday. So we're still working it out. Stay tuned.

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