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-clothingvendors 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!
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.
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.
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.