You don’t have to be a thief to make a steal at this market.
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If you are a morning person and happen to be in Lisbon on a Tuesday or Saturday you are in for a treat. Better yet you may be staying in the charming neighborhood of Alfama but if not get on Electrico 28 (you can actually get a seat on an early morning…) and get off by the Sao Vicente of Fora church. Stroll into the shadows and under the Arco Grande de Cima to Campo Santa Clara. Well there slow down and meander through the genuine flea market Feira da Ladra, sometimes called the thief’s market this one named after thief’s of the female gender. The thief’s may have sold their loot here as early as in the 12th century but the market reached some respectability in the 18th when it was mentioned in writing. There are bargains to be had amongst the blankets and tents covering the ground. Ceramic tiles, antiques, leather goods, porcelain, kitchen utensils, vintage clothing and obsolete electronics are everywhere. A few T-shirt and souvenir vendors have sneaked in but overall much of the wares seem authentic second hand as well as produced by local artisans. Should the size be overwhelming or replenishment be needed there are both cafes and cheap eats in the center where a picker upper can be had. Sitting under a parasol sipping a café com leite perhaps with a Pastel de nata offers the perfect vantage point for people watching. For the strict health nut a stand selling biological fruit and veggies from an out-of-town cooperative farm hid under the canopy of Jardim Botto Machado. The fresh figs just melted in the mouth.
For the high culture inclined the National Pantheon is just a stone’s throw away. There national heroes rub shoulders including the football player Eusebio whilst the Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama who actually found India and perhaps even walked through the Feira is represented by a cenotaph.
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