Balon del Sabato

A flea market at the center of Europe’s largest open-air market

Once a week in the city of Turin, 100,000 visitors descend on Porta Palazzo, Europe’s largest open-air market. For over 150 years, this sprawling market has offered a cornucopia of footwear, clothes, house wares, toys and food from across Italy and around the world. With over one thousand merchants and 700 street vendors, Porta Palazzo is a commercial hub whose opportunities have always attracted newcomers to the city.

Unique to Porta Palazzo is the Balon flea market and its mix of registered, formal and informal vendors. Since 1935 irregular migrants have had the right to ‘exchange’ goods on the market by a special city statute. In the heart of the Balon, a hot air balloon rises 150 meters high every day, giving its passengers a breathtaking view over the city of the Savoy. The attraction was inaugurated in 2012, as a tribute to one of the possible etymologies of the market’s name, according to which ‘balon’ refers to an air balloon that took off from this neighborhood in the 18th century.

Although there is no historical evidence of that episode, the balloon has now become a symbol of this open-air emporium, the largest in Europe, which has been bustling with activity since the second half of the 19th century. To this day, once a week the Balon attracts a crowd of browsers, collectors, and tourists who walk around the most diverse objects.

And once a month, the surrounding streets are packed with antique dealers’ shops, which display the best they have to offer for the Gran Balon, making a visit to this noisy and inspiring market even more interesting.

Antiquing Tip Of The Day

Value of antiques can fluctuate just like stocks and bonds—just because these are antiques and they are old does not mean the value will constantly increase. The most important point is: buy what you love, because you gotta live with it.

— Andrew Holter, head of American furniture at Christie’s New York
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3 reviews

  1. Solo qui puoi trovare di tutto ,dall’antiquariato di primo ordine ,all’artigianato e grazie al mercato che si estende fino al Cimitero di San Pietro in Vincoli popolato per lo più dai “nuovi torinesi” ,le sorprese sono infinite. Mi piacerebbe fosse più occasione di festa,con musica di strada, cibo di strada e attrazioni diverse. Questo quartiere ha un potenziale enorme poco e male sfruttato.

  2. Mercatino dell’antiquariato e delle pulci, davvero interessante, si spazia dall’antiquariato di qualità al vintage, al rottame, molto grande, occorre tutta la mattina per visitarlo interamente, con zone “multietniche” che possono mettere un po’ a disagio a chi non è abituato.. a me non è accaduto nulla, ma consiglio di fare attenzione a portafogli e valori, come d’altronde in tutti i mercati.

  3. Bellissimo mercato dell’antiquariato, trovi qualsiasi cosa e torni indietro nel tempo. Se cerchi qualcosa di estremamente particolare e fuori dal comune vieni qui.

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