The Complete Guide to Cinque Terre Market Shopping

by Bianca Gignac

cinque terre shopping markets

The Cinque Terre shopping and market scene is a complicated situation.

I would love to say that there is awesome shopping at the market, where you’ll find Gucci shoes for 20 bucks and it’s right on the promenade of Monterosso, but that would be me dreaming.

You can shop right in the villages during the weekly markets (listed below), but if you go just a little farther, you’ll be blessed with bags of treasures. Gucci included. Or, a cute La Perla bra you score for 5 bucks and a new weirdo painting you’ll somehow fit in your carry-on.

We want to give you the lowdown on all the Cinque Terre-area shopping markets you can get your paws into while on vacation. The best ones are listed below. They’re all just a day trip or less from the villages.

Cinque Terre Shopping Markets

The only regular markets right in the Cinque Terre villages are in Vernazza (on Tuesdays) and in Monterosso (on Thursdays).

La Spezia Markets

  • La Spezia is a ten-minute train ride from Riomaggiore.

Friday Market in La Spezia

Every Friday morning, there’s a sprawling market that takes place in La Spezia, very close to the train station in Piazza Garibaldi. It’s known for household goods and clothing mainly, but in recent years has been featuring a lot of used-clothing vendors from all over the world. Our good friend Gina from Modern Thrifter in the Old World has written about the La Spezia market here. It gets really crowded and crazy (my husband is always telling me to watch for pickpockets), but it’s a great place to people watch and just goes to show how important these weekly markets are to the communities here.

 

Food Market in La Spezia

If you’ve rented an apartment with a kitchen in the Cinque Terre, head down to La Spezia for some fresh fruit, veggies, cheese, meat, fish and more at the Piazza del Mercato. On every morning (except Sunday) until 1:00, this is the real deal — you’ll be side by side hustling for the best produce with a horde of little old Italian ladies, and they mean business!

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Chiavari Markets

  • You can travel by train from Monterosso to Chiavari in under an hour.

Friday Market in Chiavari

There is also a market on Friday in Chiavari. Chiavari is an absolutely gorgeous, wealthy city with some incredible architecture. It’s old and you’ll not see many tourists around; it’s a proper Italian town. Go there for the arcades, the main shopping area and great restaurants. At their Friday market, you can find some great Italian clothing, along with some used-clothing vendors and above average shopping in general.

 

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Soffitta Nella Strada in Sarzana

If you’re visiting this region in the summer, there is a beautiful little town 40 minutes from the Cinque Terre called Sarzana that makes you feel like you’re in the heart of Tuscany. It has some stellar restaurants, amazing people and style to spare. Sarzana has been a haven for artists and people who collect antiquities, and so this market was born of that vibe. The market is called La Soffitta Nella Strada (The Attic in the Street). It goes on for two weeks in August and has vendors from all over Italy. It takes place in the evening to avoid the heat of the day, so vendors start opening at about 5 in the afternoon. Get there right at 5 and just get lost in Sarzana’s little streets. Pop into the vintage stores that have their doors open, and browse through all there is to offer — clothes, furniture, the works.

Forte dei Marmi Street Market

About an hour south by train from the Cinque Terre is Forte dei Marmi, a posh little resort town, where VIPs and lovers of the good life flock to its beach resorts and designer boutiques. Forte dei Marmi holds one of the most renowned street markets in all of Italy every Wednesday (and Sundays in the summer), where you can get some great deals on incredible merchandise. There is lots of high-end loot. You might find a pair of designer shoes at half price, except half price is 200 euro! It’s a market for clothing and shoe lovers, and Forte dei Marmi is a pretty Tuscan town. We bring our clients here for the day to do some shopping on our Cinque Terre tours.

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I hope that helps you find the Cinque Terre shopping markets you’re after. Please come share all the treasures you scored on our Facebook page. If you love market culture then head over to Gina Pagnella’s Modern Thrifter in the Old World, as she contributed this list and is always showing off her inspiring finds.

Traveling to the Cinque Terre soon? We have so many more tips in our One Perfect Day Guide to the Cinque Terre.

Happy hunting,

xx Bianca

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine Dowlan

I’m an Aussie : been to Italy once 25 years ago : France is a favourite but coming to Italy this time: to Rome and down through to Amalfi Coast – sept/oct this year: haven’t been to AC before :
Coming alone or with daughter – drawing a line in the sand and finally doing it – always wanted to 🙂

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Carmen Darwin

So excited about joining Bianca and Justine for the Creative Playcation in Cinque Terre in May. Yeehaa for doing something amazing in 2016 and yes we are coming all the way from Australia to join you all.
Carmen

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Edward Halloran

Bianca’s notes on Cinque Terra and Firenze were our guides on our visit last year. Not a miss. I would trust her with any tour.

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Thank you, Edward!

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Martin

Trying to plan a trip for my wife and I and our 2 daughters (ages 5 and 1) for 10 nights from 24th April to Tuscany. Trying to work out a good base – would like somewhere with a kitchen (maybe an agriturismo?) and ideally some gardens for the kids to run about it. Ideally no more than 90 mins drive from Pisa airport and fairly close to the main roads. Any suggestions?!?!? Thanks

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Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Martin,
Sounds like a great trip you have planned! I would get in touch with Olga at http://www.chiantimania.com. She’s an expert on Tuscany and would be just the person to find you the perfect place to stay.
Have fun!
Kiiri

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Kimberly

We’re planning a trip to Cinque Terre this September, and loved this post on the shopping markets available! We’re planning on stopping at the Fiore dei Marmi market Sept 20, 2017, en route from La Spezia to Pisa, and would love to know the best way to get from the Fiore station to the market and back! Thanks in advance!

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