A Virtual Trip Through Monti’s Vintage Market
Just a short distance from the Coliseum is an avant-garde street and flea market in Rome. Although Rome is famous for the attractions of its flea markets, the weekend adventures in Rione Monti are particularly noted for their range of styles and activities.
Monti’s Vintage Market at the Hotel Palatino in Via Leonina 46 is a site not to be missed on a trip to Rome. The buyers are tourists and cosmopolitan visitors, as well as residents of the city. The market features stall after stall which present the works of fashion names as well as young artists in a variety of media. Buyers can also find a vintage poster or re-purposed clothing.
The market is open each weekend from September until June. During the time between mid-June and the end of July, the Monti Market of Rome relocates to Piazza San Bartolomeo on the Isola Tiburtina. The hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm and the admission is free. Since the event is relatively small, most customers and visitors find that they can wander through the stalls in an hour or two.
The Mercato Monti was created from a group of 35 varied vendors each weekend. It was originally designed to get rid of some Monti shop owners’ overstock. Now the event is a full-fledged vintage market which features outstanding talent each Sunday. The website promoted a Talent of the Week, which includes new designs as well as vintage pieces of all types. A range of design media is presented, including a list of recent features from Italy Art to leather bags.
Talent of the Week
Each week a specific artist or design is selected to have their work featured. A recent month included featured artists which included a designer of leather bags and products. The designer is Alice Rosignoli with the brand La Debraillee. The product features clean lines, essential shapes and appealing aesthetics. Rosignoli is an Italian designer who has been transplanted to Paris.
Earlier in the month, the featured artist was Zico Jewels by Francesca Pistorella. The unique models are made entirely by hand and include materials of silver, bronze and brass. The artist seeks to dress the jewel and make it special. Favorite stones by the master jeweler include quartz crystals, amethysts and agate geodes.
Art in Italy is another featured artist during the representative month. The workshop uses the techniques such as fresco, encaustic and Scagliola.
Yet another featured talent is the publishing house Drago, launched in 2000. It is known for its publication of international art and street photography. The company is based in Rome, but with international distribution.
The company participates as part of a think tank of creative types who work with artists and others to promote the formation of strong cultural impact projects. Each week the visitor to the Monti Mart can find something different and interesting.
Unique Shopping Experience
Rome has many places and events which attract tourists and locals alike, but there are few locations which can match the interest and variety of Monti. The event is full of fashion relics, bags, jewelry and hand-made clothing. In ambiance, it is a very different shopping experience from the shopping districts that are crowded into areas around each attraction in the city.
Away from the main tourist attraction of the Colosseum are many architectural delights, as well as eating places, craft, fashion and other sights. Previously, the area of the Monti was a less-than-desirable region of the city noted for its prostitutes and outlaws.
Beginning in the 1940s, there was a change in the atmosphere and the area has become a center for the young and creative designers and artists. The area includes everything from fashion designers’ shops to the workshops for the creation of custom, handmade jewelry.
“Monti” means mountain and the neighborhood is named after one of the seven hills on which Rome sits. The district of the city combines modern amenities with historical charm. There are some exciting new ventures linking arms with centuries of crumbling craftsmanship.
Among the people you might see at a cafe are a well-turned out signore next to a bedraggled hipster. The area is somewhat smaller and less of interest to tourists than the nightlife center of Trastevere. Those who visit or live in the area note the strong community ties.
The purpose of the Monti is to showcase the new young designers in the city. The neighborhood is one of the most “hip” areas of Rome. The Mercato Monti is small, occupying only a single room, almost everything that is available for sale in the market is hand-made.
Many items are classified as vintage. Others have a vintage feel. There is a DJ making his play list known, so that the overall atmosphere is one like a neighborhood club.
Often, the items which are available from the market are those which make perfect remembrance gifts for the trip to Rome. They are never the type of mass-produced products which are best forgotten. When purchasing one of the Monti items, the buyer can be certain that they are helping to support new and up-coming artists, who might otherwise be ignored.
Even though the event features the cutting edge talents of new and young designers, the market also displays many unique and vintage items. Some of the typical entries might be wrist watches, sunglasses and jewellery and accessories.
Other items might be clothing, books, home wares and occasionally some art. Customers can expect to pay reasonable prices for the items which are purchased. They are not giveaways.
A visit to this neighborhood of Rome is somewhat off the regular tourist areas, but is interesting to explore on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and evening. The hours can be confirmed on the website and a time selected that will mesh well with a visit to one or more of the other attractions in the area. There are places to stop in for a beverage or a full meal before or after the shopping excursion.