The Best Italian Markets By The Sea

It’s a joy to rummage through stalls of knick-knacks, hoping to stumble upon that hidden treasure. There’s the fun of racks that are packed with handbags, hats and vintage clothes, and stalls covered with local crafts, from pottery to accessories made with recycled materials. And then there’s the delight of farmers who sell what they produce: lovingly made jams, cookies, oil and pasta from small companies that have no way of reaching large retail chains. Summer is the key moment for street markets at tourist destinations.

When the temperature goes down in the evening, on certain days stands start to appear in the streets of historic districts, in piazzas and along the seafront, turning into a small but colorful local market in a matter of hours. Buying becomes secondary and is not nearly as important as the fun of an evening “in search of lost time” (Proust will surely forgive us). Because in the era of online purchases, shopping centers and the delivery of any kind of purchase at home around the clock, these festive summer markets bring back the feeling of yesteryear. And it doesn’t matter what type of market it is, because there are kinds catering to every taste. You just need to get oriented based on your destination.

Mercato Del Forte (Forte dei Marmi, Lucca)

Today its street traders have formed a consortium that even has its own logo to guarantee its originality, and Jesolo, and, below, Brisighella.

they travel to various Italian towns and cities to bring this famous shopping experience even to those who do not visit Tuscany’s renowned beach resort. But the original, inimitable one is still along the coast of Versilia, where every Wednesday (and every Sunday until October) the square of Forte dei Marmi is dotted with veritable boutiques selling clothes, colorful fabrics, shoes, handbags, bathing suits, costume jewelry and sweaters that, once fall arrives, will remind you of the festive summer “souq” where you bought them.

Mercatino della Pineta (Jesolo, Venice)

This hopping town in the Veneto region is famous for its variety of markets: from lavender to wellness products and fun shopping, in the evening the stalls here sell every product under the sun, just a few yards from the beach. One of the best—especially because of its setting—is the market full of curios that is held every Sunday in the summer from late afternoon until nearly midnight in the enormous pine grove at Lido di Jesolo. A treasure hunt in the heart of nature.

Mercato Del Forte (Forte dei Marmi, Lucca)

Today its street traders have formed a consortium that even has its own logo to guarantee its originality, and Jesolo, and, below, Brisighella.

they travel to various Italian towns and cities to bring this famous shopping experience even to those who do not visit Tuscany’s renowned beach resort. But the original, inimitable one is still along the coast of Versilia, where every Wednesday (and every Sunday until October) the square of Forte dei Marmi is dotted with veritable boutiques selling clothes, colorful fabrics, shoes, handbags, bathing suits, costume jewelry and sweaters that, once fall arrives, will remind you of the festive summer “souq” where you bought them.

Mercatino della Pineta (Jesolo, Venice)

This hopping town in the Veneto region is famous for its variety of markets: from lavender to wellness products and fun shopping, in the evening the stalls here sell every product under the sun, just a few yards from the beach. One of the best—especially because of its setting—is the market full of curios that is held every Sunday in the summer from late afternoon until nearly midnight in the enormous pine grove at Lido di Jesolo. A treasure hunt in the heart of nature.

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