The first and third Sunday of each month, the fans of antiques, furniture and vintage objects meet at Piazza Mazzini in Prati. Since end of November until January 6th (Epiphany, bank holiday in Italy) the market turns into a Christmas one, with a wide offering: besides Christmas decorations, there are a lot of gift ideas (from scarf to herbs products, from delicatessen to wood handcrafts), while some of the usual “Sunday” vendors resists in a Christmas version as well.
A walk through the stalls
Such as Mario, who says : “I started with flea markets in the Seventies, I used to travel around Italy: Florence, Modena... during week-ends, while from Monday to Friday I used to work in restoration, which is my big passion, I do it since I am 16 years old. Then I discovered Piazza Mazzini market and I come here since many years”. Sales are not the same they used to be, especially for some valuable pieces: “The time is what it is, but we have to keep on trying: sometimes it works better, sometimes worse but we still have to be here”.It’s actually passion which makes many vendors come to Piazza Mazzini market, as Paolo and Antonella who take a week off from their usual job every year to sell their Christmas decorations, hand made throughout the year in their spare time. “We like mountains a lot, so I often recall images we see during our holidays – tells us Antonella – we have some carpenters we trust who make some shapes with wood from Alto Adige region, that we decorate with beads and ribbons”. Her husband makes some ceramic shapes, sometimes soaked with essence, which can be used to perfume your drawers, while their daughter Giorgia decorates some shapes made with a laser technique. “Our home is full of sparkling powder, even our cat’s fur is full of it – smiles Antonella – my husband has a real passion for this market and I enjoy working on these decorations when I get back from work. As long as we feel like doing it, you will find us here”. Together with the approximately 50 stands that from sunrise to sunset (and often even later, thanks to the lights) offer their specialties, some advice and many holidays wishes.
“To be honest, I’ve never been at Piazza Mazzini Christmas market. That is a busy time… We have rehearsals for the school play, we need to wrap presents for our parents, decorate the Christmas tree. We really can’t miss a day, so any time Mummy went to Piazza Mazzini I wasn’t there. But then I had her tell me all about it and I even got a present. Two nice people I don’t even know sent me a little gift: a micro nativity scene carved into a piece of wood. So, I hanged it on my Christmas tree and every time I see it I think of those two nice people who sent me a present even if I don’t even know them… a little like Santa!”