Second-hand shopping in Bologna used to mean going to the open-air markets in Piazzola or to more upscale Mercato dell’Antiquariato in Piazza Santo Stefano. However, in recent years more and more second-hand and vintage shops have sprung up, parallel with the global trends of upcycling and vintage and eco-friendly fashion. A few times a year, there’s also a large second-hand event VinoKilo in via C. Casarini where you can literally buy vintage clothes, shoes and accessories by the kilo. Second-hand and vintage items may be more available, but they are often quite expensive, so don’t always expect a bargain as too often the label ‘vintage’ means outdated and overpriced designer clothes that Bolognese ladies want to get rid of.
Luckily, Bologna now also has charity second-hand and vintage shops. The first port of call for donating or getting second-hand items should be Second Life (www.comune.bologna.it/second-life) which is run by Hera and the Comune. Charitable foundations, such as ANT (www.ant.it) now have shops throughout the city and all proceeds go to cancer research. A new shop on Via Val d’Aposa 5/b is full of contemporary and vintage clothing and furniture.
Piazzola, the largest open-air market in Bologna, is located in Piazza VIII Agosto and across the street in Montagnola Park, on Fridays and Saturdays. This market features hundreds of vendors selling just about everything – shoes, handbags, clothes, household items, toys and plants. In the park, a number of stands sell vintage clothing, old coats, used jeans , ethnic clothes and sundry paraphernalia. Keep an eye on your purse while browsing for deals.
Mercato dell’Antiquariato in Piazza Santo Stefano, which takes places every second weekend of the month (apart from January, July and August), turns this most beautiful of Bolognese squares into a colourful and fascinating display of antiques (www.bolognawelcome.com/mercato-antiquario-citta-di-bologna).
OTHER COMMERCIAL SECOND-HAND/VINTAGE SHOPS
via Augusto Righi 16/18
via Pasubio 39
Crocevia – Mercato dell’Usato
via Santa Croce 11 ABC
Vintage in the Garden
via Frassinago 4/C
via San Vitale 49/a
via Castiglione 62
via S. Leonardo 2/a
via S. Leonardo 3
Greenpeace Italia have compiled a map of eco-friendly shops and services in nine Italian cities, including Bologna. Check this link www.attivati.greenpeace.it/ecomappa and see what’s available in your neighbourhood and beyond. The map is based on information provided by volunteers and is a work in progress. If you know of a shop that sells sfuso (packaging-free) or a nice green area, bicycle repair shop or water fountain, send your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org.