Visual Statement: Florence Flea Market

By Erin Kirkland, Daily Photographer
Published February 27, 2013

A flash of pink peers out from one street over and catches my eye as I leave my apartment. Granted, I had only been in Firenze for 4 days and everything was a possibility for exploration.

Turning the corner, I realize that I’ve entered a thrifter’s haven. Tables line the streets and broken Italian fills the air. Elderly women with faces caressed by wrinkles are decked out in oversized fur coats. Men in tweed caps peruse each antique book with care. Vendors stand behind stalls selling what appear to be family heirlooms as their own cigarette smoke engulfs the stands. When walking by a vendor’s table, you’re fast friends. But if you try to haggle, beware. You’re back to being an outsider.

To the man set up on Via del”Ulivo: Did you really think that I’d buy a pashmina for 10 Euro? Yes, I can only speak about seven words of Italian (ice cream, please, thank you, strawberry, hello, goodbye, and the most important one —bathroom), but I’m not that ignorant of an American.

But next week when I walk outside of my apartment, it’s not there. The turquoise typewriter and the rose colored cameo bracelet I had my eye on last week are gone too. And I’m left wondering — with money burning in my pocket — when it will be back again.