This is an excerpt from the book “Turin“
The Torinese demand for shopping “en plein air” is amply met by the number and variety of its markets: more than 60 open-air venues to browse, happen upon objects from the past, surrounded by color and atmosphere. Aficionados seek out Porta Palazzo, Europe’s biggest open-air market, or the Balon in Borgo Dora: a mega Saturday flea and antiques market with an extra date on the second Sunday every month. Don’t miss them if you want to get to the heart of Turin.
Porta Palazzo Market
“I got it down at Porta Palazzo!” Every Torinese must have said that once in their lives, pleased as punch after a trip down to this market, Porta Palazzo the biggest market area in Europe.
Here – amongst the stalls set up in Piazza della Repubblica, a stone’s throw from the Duomo and the Porte Palatine – you really can find everything: footwear, clothes, house wares, toys, food from all over Italy and specialties from all over the world.
A crowd of faces, languages, dialects that are the living proof that new Turin is a melting pot of stories, traditions and cultures.
Balon and Gran Balon
The Balon market gets its name from the area at the back of Porta Palazzo. In the 1850s or thereabouts, the place was the haunt of Turin junk dealers; now it’s just the place to discover shops selling all sorts of objects and products. Saturday is when this market turns into the heartbeat of the area, linked to popular tradition.
The Gran Balon is held on the second Sunday each month: anything from toys to antique furniture, lace, collectors items, a variety of offers that make this market a magnet for shoppers from all over Italy.
Big Markets and Little Markets
Apart from Porta Palazzo and Balon, Turin hosts an infinite number of fairs, all sizes of markets, all year round.
“Oasi dei prodotti tipici della campagna Piedmontese”
“Oasis of traditional Piedmontese country fare”
First Sunday each month (excluding January, July, August), Piazza Palazzo di Citta’
Third Sunday each month (excluding July, August December), Piazza Madama Cristina
Information: Federazione Provinciale Coltivatori Diretti di Torino
“Oltremercato: prodotti biologici, naturali e ecocompatibili”
“Oltremercato: organic, natural and ecocompatible products”
Quarto Saturday each month (excluding July, August), Piazza Palazzo di Citta’
Information: Associazione Amici dell’A.S.C.I. Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta
“Noibio: prodotti biologici”
“Noibio: organic products”
First Sunday each month (excluding August and December), Piazza Madama Cristina
Information: Federazione Regionale Coltivatori Diretti
Piazza Vittorio Veneto 12 – Borgaro Torinese
“Extravaganza: vintage e modernariato”
“Extravaganza: vintage and modern”
Second Saturday each month (excluding July and August), Piazza Carlo Alberto
Information: Associazione Effetto Vintage
“Ogni frutto ha la sua stagione”
“To every fruit there is a season”
Third Sunday each month (excluding January, July, August), Piazza Carlo Alberto
Information: Confederazione italiana agricoltori del Piedmont
Fourth Saturday, fourth Sunday in March, June, September, November, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Via Po
Information: Piccola Societa’ Cooperativa Arkana Medioevalis
“Mostra mercato delle lavorazioni artistiche and artigianali”
“Arts and crafts fair”
First Sunday each month (excluding July and August), Via Cesare Battisti
Information: Associazione Itinerart
“Antico in musica”
“Music and Antiques”
Fourth Sunday each month (excluding December, August), Piazza Abba
Information: Associazione La Vitruviana
“Fera d’la Leja”
“Fera d’la Leja”
Third Sunday each month (excluding December), Piazza Barcellona
Information: Associazione Shopping San Donato
Where to stay in Turin
Hotels, Apartments, Condo hotels and B&Bs: search and reserve here.