It’s Monday in Nice! The food and flower vendors are taking a well-deserved day off. Another kind of magic, a fabulous flea market/marché aux puces, appears under the colorful, striped canopies of the stalls that fill the pulsating nerve-centre of the Vieille Ville.
Steps away from the siren call of the sparkling Mediterranean, another kind of irresistible je ne sais quoi will keep you browsing hour after hour. Open from 7:30 a.m. to late in the afternoon, vendors tend to close as interest wanes.
Join in one of France’s beloved national pastimes. Meet friends and while away hours. There’s something unique about the brocantes (flea markets) of France. Gleaming glassware and shimmering crystal. Vintage linens, fabrics, and clothing, along with handbags and travel cases. Louis Vuitton and Chanel!
Stunning silverware that surely must have an intriguing history from a pre-Revolution chateau. Bring a serving piece home as a treasured souvenir.
Need a break? Sip an espresso or perfectly chilled rosé. Indulge in scrumptious seafood specialties or appetizing plats du jour. How about a socca? In pastel and sherbet colored 18th Century buildings, a tempting choice of cafés, bars and bistros line both sides of the street. Music is always in the air. People- watching opportunities abound.
Stacks of art deco posters, photos. Books, magazines and periodicals on every topic imaginable. Buttons! Model cars.
Some vendors sip their rosé, filling the air with laughter and chat. Some are cranky. It’s France! Indulge your fantasies!
Walking sticks. Swords. Antique furniture, pots, accessories for indoor and out. Designer costume jewelry. From traditional to trendy, it’s all here.
My favorite place to end the day – vintage photographs and postcards!
Check out this post for tons more info on where to satisfy your second-hand reveries through France.
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, and loves to travel, particularly to the south of France. She is the award-winning writer of The Promise of Provence.
All photography in this post is under the copyright of Patricia Sands.