We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A little adventure in Campo San Barnaba

Yesterday on my way home, I discovered a little flea market  going on in Campo San Barnaba.  There were several tables of "stuff" laid out in the square, manned by three white/grey haired Italian men, most likely Venetian, of course!  During my days in the USA, I was always drawn to antique shops and flea markets. For years I drove a Jeep SUV big enough to handle any spur-of-the-moment purchases I couldn't resist bringing home. Now that I am in Venice, carless, those spontaneous acquisitions aren't possible.  A) I don't own a car anymore, B) we live in a rented, furnished apartment, and C), even if I did find something to buy, I'd have to get it hauled home somehow.  Option C hasn't been such a big problem for me, as everything I have ever looked at in flea-market stalls in Venice has been incredibly expensive. That's Venice.

Mike has been wanting a small bookcase for the office/study/spare room.   We've looked at Ikea, but honestly Ikea is not our style of furniture. We've looked around locally, but the few things we've seen both old and new have been too expensive for what we need. Until yesterday. At this flea market, I found a nice little bookcase. Upon closer inspection, it was just the right proportions for the space we needed. In addition,  both the color of the wood and style would go perfectly.  I didn't notice any price tag, so I called over one of the little old men and asked "Quanto costo?  (how much?).  "Trenta", he says. Not believing what I heard, I asked,   "Trenta?????" (30) Oh my God, this is Venice- I was expecting three hundred euros would be the answer.   He laughs and says, in Italian, of course, "50 is good too, you want 50?"   "No, Trenta is fine", and pulled out my wallet before he changed his mind. I now owned a little bookcase.

I called Mike to come bring our little dolly and bungee cords down to the campo.   As I waited for his arrival, I had a lovely conversation in Italian with two of these guys.  We talked, as best I could in my still not fluent Italian. When Mike arrived, we loaded our new bookcase up, and began to wheel out of Campo San Barnaba. One of the little old men yelled to me, "I'll be here until Tuesday!". I might just have to return!


Anonymous said...

Well done, Ms Shopper of the Flea Markets! :-)

karen said...

I know! Trenta!!!!

Dianne said...

I saw a flea market there when I was in Venice in September. Didn't pay it much mind since (1) I was not shopping for any furniture or "objets d'art" and (2) because even if I found something there was ABSOLUTELY no room left in my luggage. On another note, my Tuscan friend loved the little teddy bear he made for her. When you see him could you tell him.

karen said...

Diane- you mean Mauro, the glass guy, right?

Jon said...

Diane, show us the book case!