“Wondrous foods and goods”
“It would be heaven to food shop here all the time!”
“Cheap and good…but pay attention for pick pockets”
These are just some of the ways to describe Turin’s biggest and most famous market. Porto Palazzo is located near the historic city center and in Turin’s biggest Piazza: Piazza della Republica. With 50,000 square meters of open air and around 800 stalls, Porta Palazzo is known as Europe’s largest open air market and a favorite among locals. Having never been there, it can be intimidating on your first visit and I suggest you go only with someone who knows their way around.
Porto Palazzo is famous for it’s quality products at great prices because these are coming directly from the farmers themselves. The market is divided into about 6 sections with each one devoted into specific products. From fresh fruits and veggies to household items, you can find almost anything you’re looking for here.
I don’t get to visit often but when I do it’s usually because I have 2 reasons: Cilantro & Cheddar Cheese! While Cheddar is imported from the UK, everything else is local or Italian specialty products. I especially love visiting the Farmer’s stalls. There’s where you’ll be able to find the harder to find varieties of veggies.
A trip to this part of town is not complete without a walk through the Balon. If you like antiques, vintage, or just your run of the mill flea market items then this market is for you. The Balon which began in 1857 makes it the oldest Flea market in the city. Located in Borgo Dora, you’ll need to proceed with caution. While it has improved over the years, the Borgo Dora neighborhood is known for being sketchy. Pickpocketing on unsuspecting tourists does happen but as long as you use the buddy system, you’ll be ok.
I love the sights, sounds and smells of the Balon market. You have a variety of cultures, all mashed up together. I’m also a sucker for second hand items so having a wander through the streets and checking out other people’s stuff is fun for me. On the second Sunday of the month, you have the Gran Balon. 270 stalls/vendors all available for you to enjoy.
The Porta Palazzo market is open Monday- Friday from 7am- 2pm and Saturdays from 7am- 7pm
The Balon is open on Saturdays from 7am- 1pm. The Gran Balon is on the second Sunday of the month from 8am- 7pm
4 thoughts on “City Markets: Porta Palazzo & Balon”
Would you believe it–I still haven’t gone to the Balon or Gran Balon! I love Porta Palazzo though.
We should try and go together sometime.
I’d love to. I saw those pics of the old suitcases and thought, I could make some cool storage options out of those…
Looking forward to browsing the Balon again (and fitting in an icecream from Gelateria Popolare too!) with you soon. Never know what you might find among all those old books and antiques!