The Italian vintage scene must be one of the best treasure troves of designer goods from years gone by. The elegance of Italian style is enduring and timeless, which is what still today keeps second hand stores alive and kicking. They draw in locals as well as tourists with their flawless and diverse collections of goods. While we have only scraped the surface of what Italy has to offer in terms of pre loved clothing, we can say with confidence that it is impressive. Discover our finds from Milan, Florence and Bologna with this list of vintage fashion shops.
Weekly or monthly markets are a great place to chat with vendors and get to know the authenticity and origins of products if you’re interested in that. Sunday markets in plazas in Florence are great for making cool finds from 18th century linen dresses to 80s denim jackets. The Milanese vintage market Mercatone dell’ Antiquariato along Navigli is a lovely Sunday hangout spot as you browse through everything from vinyl to antique phones to great coats. The East Market in Milan is inspired by (surprise, surprise) the markets in the east end of London, with vendors in an old industrial building selling their own garments.
Another category of second hand shopping that is especially great in Italy is high end, designer vintage stores. Celeste vintage sells high end garments and Dior bags in Florence, right by the massive Pitti Palace museum. It is definitely worth taking the walk to the Vintage Recollection by Albrici, which looks like you just walked into the house of an aristocrat that loves collecting immaculate pieces by some of the best Italian designers (Valentino, Missoni etc). In Milan, there are a variety of options, especially in the Brera area. Cavalli e Nastri (that has two locations in the city) houses ‘real’ vintage so to speak: 50s circle skirts and 70s hippie dresses, you name it.
On top of the classic vintage store, Italy has a great variety of more youthful stores that house menswear as well as womenswear. These shops are great for more modern vintage from the 80s to today, and stock great men’s shirts and jackets that women often buy as well. Momo Vintage in Florence is a great example of this, with its denim trousers, trench coats and 70s dresses. SNAP Milano bursts at the seams with colourful sportswear, 80s pink dream numbers and fashion a la Clueless. La Ragazza Con La Valigia in Bologna is a prime example of what most of these kind of stores specialise in: denim jackets. Milanese Lo Specchio Di Alice has a good, extensive selection of jackets from the 80s and 90s. Groupies Vintage in Milan stocks vintage Hawaiian shirts, denim and sportswear for mostly men.
This last category is what you may call charity shops. These are stores that are similar to Oxfam if you’re in the UK, UFF in Finland and Red Cross in Singapore. Bivio Milano buys directly from the public and sells like new preloved items that are in great condition. Il Girotondo di Renata Monfrini has a huge amount of cheap basics for men and women and lies a bit off the beaten path from central Milan.
While there are so many more shops that we haven’t been to and we want to keep exploring, this guide is meant to introduce to you some of the main themes that we have seen so far in Italian vintage. Feel free to be in touch with us if we have missed out on any amazing shops in this list!