Modern Thrifter in the Old World’s Northern Italy vintage collecting adventure began in Piacenza, a beautifully kept secret city that is like a hybrid between a charming Tuscan village and a bad-ass city. It is untampered by tourists and all of the monuments, churches and parks are gorgeous and free. Don’t tell anyone about it.
So I did a little research in regards to where and when I could find markets. But after seeing how elegant the people in this bank riddled-city are, I had to get my mitts on some hand-me-downs ASAP. I have not figured out how to research real thrift shops in Italy other than word of mouth so I thought a tour of the city would uncover something. I woke up, picked a direction and a street I liked and walked to the end of it. This was the beginning of the end of my self-guided tour of Piacenza. I saw it: “Vetrina Solidale” It was a thrift shop!
I am always excited to stumble across real thrift shops since I am not looking for vintage stores which I can usually find online, but benefit shops that are usually related to churches or the Italian non-prophits like Caritas, and they are never publicized. This benefit shop was every thrifter’s dream. Jackets and dresses were nicely hung and organized made it shopping easy. There were compositions and windows showing off the good stuff and the volunteers’ merchandising skills. I mean look at how they used those red pantyhose (above) – that is genius! The pants shirts, skirts and sweaters, however, were properly piled one on top of the other, so I got some digging out of my system too.
Great deadstock flannels. I wanted them all and their original packaging boxes and all, but they were too bulky for the trip!
The ladies that worked in the shop were splendid and extremely interactive. They loved everything I tried on, calling me a model, complementing my skinny structure, and the best pulling things they though I would like. And believe it or not, they nailed it!
I decided to buy quite a lot and introduced myself properly to Mariuccia and Anna the shopkeepers that day. One thing I absolutely love about my job, as I have mentioned before, are the interactions with my vendors. The the socializing that surrounds any business exchange in Italy is more than half the fun. I planted the seed since I knew I would be seeing these ladies again. When I payed they did not have change, so they took what I had in small bills and coins and called it even. Gotta love it.