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Markets, Bologna

Italy's insider take:

Every day is market day in Bologna. Locals and tourists haggle for fresh fruits and veggies, spiffy leather handbags, and antique furniture at these city-center street fairs. (Watch your wallet, though: Pickpockets have been known to shop there, too.) The largest and oldest—it dates back to the 13th century—is La Piazzola, a great place to pick up shoes, crafts, fabrics, and a huge selection of vintage clothes (Piazza VIII Agosto, every Friday and Saturday). On Thursdays, the same piazza is occupied by the Mercato del Collezionismo (Collectors' Market), where you can find everything from antique furniture to Kinder Egg toy collectables. For seafood and fresh fruit and vegetables, don't miss the Mercato di Mezzo (Via Pescherie Vecchie) and Mercato delle Erbe (Via Ugo Bassi) in the heart of the centro storico. There are nine regular markets and various seasonal markets selling holiday sweets and Christmas decorations. Check the tourism office's Web site for the entire updated schedule (

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