Europe is known for its markets. There are Christmas markets and weekly markets, food markets and antiques markets. While I do love a good Christmas market, antiques markets are my absolute favorite. We were blessed in England to have the Peterborough Antiques fair just down the road from us twice a year. So when we moved to Milan I was very excited to learn about the Navigli antiques market.
If you haven’t heard of it before, Navigli is a neighborhood in the south west of the city of Milan. Known as a neighborhood of canals, Navigli is home to the last two remaining ancient canals in Milan. While it’s a bit outside the center of the city, Navigli is still known for its restaurants, night clubs, antiques shops and events along the canal, most notably, the monthly antique fair.
On the last Sunday of every month, nearly 400 antiques vendors gather along both banks of the, larger canal, the Naviglio Grande. These dealers sell everything from antique furniture to art to clothing and jewelry.
On the last day of the sweltering July in Milan, Tim and I ventured out to Navigli to see what all the fuss was about. We were so excited to see that all the buzz was up to par. This market was amazing. But we didn’t learn this without getting lost first. I wrongly assumed an English blog about the market would give me the correct location and so we took a tram from the center of the city to the location pinned in this blog. I was quite wrong, and so were they. It wasn’t until we got out there and realized there was NOTHING out there, that we were probably in the wrong location. I then pulled up the actual mercatone dell’antiquariato web page and translated the directions from there. So it’s these directions that I will share today. Rest assured, I’m giving the correct ones!
So after we got lost and walked 15 minutes in the heat and caught another tram going the other way for the last two stops, we made it to the market. It’s been a long time since we’ve been to a large market and I was so excited to get shopping. It’s a little daunting at first since you know there’s a likelihood you’ll have to haggle, or at least ask a price in Italian. But, I figure if I love something enough, it’s worth the possible embarrassment of my terrible Italian. Plus, how else will I practice?
While the stalls flank the banks of the canal, restaurants and bars line the other side of the walkway. This gives great opportunity to get some delicious food and drink and people watch if you’re tired. We ate at a little restaurant with the most amazing lasagna I’ve had in a long time. I found myself wishing it was just a little closer to my house.
Nourished with delicious homemade pasta and wine we headed back out to the market to see if there was anything we had to go home with. I excitedly found an antique colored seltzer bottle imprinted with “Milan” and a beautiful Italian toothpaste ad from the 1940s. There were several other things I wanted but we were unsure how they’d fit in the apartment so we had to leave them at the market this time, hoping we’ll find them again next time. I know next month I’ll go with a measuring tape and measurements of free space in my house and I can’t wait.
When: Find the Antiques market on the last Sunday of every month (Except December when it’s held on the third Sunday in anticipation for Christmas). Opening hours are from 0830 – 1830.
Where: The market is held along the Naviglio Grande between Viale Gorizia and the bridge at Via Valenza.
How to get there: To get here you can take the metro or the tram.
Take the Metro line 2 (green) south and get off at the Porta Genova FS (P. TA) stop. Or, take tram line 2 and get off at Via Valenza. The tram will take more time as it has more stops, but