Bologna Inside - Second Edition

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7 > SHOPPING

SECOND-HAND SHOPPING

The Bolognese seem reluctant to buy second-hand. When and if they do decide to sell a used item, they only knock 10-20% off the original price. For adults, you can find both vintage and contemporary used clothing at Manuela Spiga, at the corner of Via Fondazza and Strada Maggiore. The second-hand stores Mercatopoli on Via Pasubio, 39 and Il Capovolto on Via Donato Creti, 51 have second-hand clothing and accessories for babies and small children. Mercatopoli buys used items and Il Capovolto allows you to consign clothing that your children have outgrown.

PIAZZOLA/MONTAGNOLA

Piazzola, the largest open-air market in Bologna, does business all day Friday and Saturday. Located in Piazza VIII Agosto and across the street in Montagnola Park, this market features hundreds of vendors selling just about everything - shoes, handbags, clothes, household items, toys and plants. In the park, a number of stands sell vintage clothing, old coats, used jeans and cashmere, ethnic clothes and sundry paraphernalia. Don’t be afraid to barter, especially if you are buying several items. Keep an eye on your purse while browsing for deals.

One way of saving is to negotiate on the price of almost everything you buy. Try to haggle, even on the smaller items. It is accepted by most shop owners and part of the culture. Some shopkeepers are happy to receive cash instead of checks or credit cards and are willing to take a few euro off the price. If for example, you buy two pairs of kids shoes at the same time, you might receive a discount. Just try to make it a habit to ask - you may be surprised how much you can save with a smile and the question “mi fa uno sconto, per favore?”

Pauline Mollema