Sunday, June 26, 2011

Contagious moods and lack of lolly pops

On the last Sunday of the month, (excluding July and August) Naviglio Grande (the larger canal in Milan) comes alive for antique markets.  We had heard of these markets and today was literally our last chance to visit as they were about to close for the summer break, (along with the rest of Europe) and we would be ending our stay here in Italy mid August. 

Water was shallow and quite clear

Length of the market is said to be over 1km long
Second-hand vintage clothes, antiques, old books, furniture, clocks, silverware, jewellry, art work are all on display. For some reason I was expecting something similar to a flea market or a boot sale, but there were definitely no insects or boots for sale. The antiques are displayed by approximately 400 merchants and the market is unique due to its size and the variety of items.  Some furniture and art were priced over 1000€, and I think you needed a trained eye to distinguish between quality and a bargain.

Variety of instruments on display

"Can we carry this home on the metro?"

Retro posters and cards for sale

Navigation equipment for my next pirate adventure

No possibility of speed dialing here...
A lot of the shops on the canal are local artists and if you wander into some of the courtyards you can see more art on display as well as see the traditional public style housing of the past.  This ancient market was known as the “Artists center” where artists wanted to paint the old Naviglio canal and old buildings on the both bank of Naviglio. Even today this canal is used as an open air studio by many artists.

Art found permanently displayed on a wall in an alley

Exploring off the canal

Beautiful old buildings

a door
Some fashion designers have opened their boutiques and studios along the canal, I mostly noticed a retro vibe, and quite alot of comic book stores.
Gas pumps and juke boxes for sale

It was a really nice day and it would of been really pleasurable to stroll down the canal and see what interesting or strange things are on sale.  I say "would have" because with two tired toddlers in toe, princes bad mood was being contagious, and we were running out of lolly pops! After he spread his mood like the plague, he surrendered his complaints and settled for a sleep in my arms as i walked in the 30 degree heat.  Not quite the relaxing stroll I had envisioned.

 If you want to stop for lunch, many of the restaurants are open, but not until after 12, which is quite normal, but irritating when you have run out of lolly pops!  (Lolly pops are like my sponsor in an AA program, they should ALWAYS be accessible.) We found a great spot to have a foccacia, a refreshing ale, people watch and an opportunity for my son to sleep on my lap and dribble down my top.  I wish we had visited these markets sooner.  I have a feeling I will be thinking I wish I did that sooner about a lot of things in our last 6 weeks here.
My view from lunch, visual shopping

Energy restored after a bite to eat!

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