Many flea market fanatics have been asking for more information about my flea market buying, browsing, or just people watching trips to Paris, Provence, or Nice, France (for now)! Perhaps it’s because they know that there won’t be yet another high-priced, overly consumptive shopping trip but an exploration of much more infused with old world charm and wisdom.
So, here’s an overview of four trips I have created. Each one is a separate short and sweet trip that includes me as your host. They’re all-inclusive (of most meals, lodgings, air, transportation) with an estimated cost below plus dates. The maximum number traveling should be no more than 6-8 for us to really make the journey memorable.
NICE FRANCE: THE OLD CITY-Vieux Ville – NICE: Although Nice is in the South of France, is my personal favorite. I feel like this is the city I was born to live in. Architecturally colorful and charming, it’s multicultural and of course rich with cultural history, museums and the best open air and flea markets to me in the world. It’s sunny, (did I say colorful?) and French. The best streetfood, and right on the Mediterranean. There are many open air and flea markets in a short, walkable distance, most notably the Cours Salaya, which makes it economical and eventful. And then there are the flower markets, oh! We sometimes side track to the Chagall or Matisse museum (which isn’t like one at all) or take a side trip to the hilltop town of Vence (not to be confused with the town of St. Paul de Vence). Plus, you have the beach for a lovely walk after a day of doing the markets. You can fly directly into Nice Airport. Tentative dates: FALL 2012 – November 7-12 which is shoulder season and much less expensive. $2,000 soup to nuts and includes air + lodgings + local/market food + transportation.
En PROVENCE Fleas & Lavendar Fields: This is more of an idea than an actual area. It’s the pure, rustic, and vibrant way of living that speak to the Old World Living lifestyle perhaps more than any other place on earth. It’s two hours west of Nice and is anchored by Marseille(the nearest major urban city) and Aix-en-Provence (the heart of it) There are dozens of open air and flea and flower markets. Time for lavender fields, people watching, or just quiet contemplation. You can fly into Marseille for a this trip. Tentative dates: Spring 2013 (about 7 days) during shoulder season and much less expensive for air + lodgings + local/market food = $3,000.
PARIS – Flea Market Master Class Trip, Tour Les Puces like a local, off-season! This is like a master class for flea market fanatics where you’ll learn when to go, cheap chic style, what is a “brocant”, French local knowledge, insider tips, how to bargain and quiet corners. Le Marché aux Puces St-Ouen renowned flea will show you some amazing finds. For more than 100 years, this square-mile maze of alleyways has housed a wide variety of vendors, from antiques and second-hand clothing dealers to junky household appliance and bric-a-brac hawkers. This is the largest flea market in Europe. The Tentative dates: FALL 2013 November 2-9 (about 7 days) during shoulder season and much less expensive for air + lodgings + local/market food = $2,500.
SAMOIS- SUR-SEINE: The Gypsy Jazz Fest & Fleas is tribute pilgrims make to hear the “sweet and low down” music of Django Reinhardt – some say this is the music of vintage and Boho. It lies just outside Paris near Fontainebleau in the town of Samois-sur-Seine. Of course you fly into Paris, attend the Festival, plus troll the open air markets and fleas for a change from Paris fleas! The music is addicting and intoxicating. Dates are high season and will be more expensive because you will stay longer from June 26 – July 1. However, it includes air + lodgings in an authentic gypsy caravan (based on availability! it’s very popular) + local/market food = $4,000.
I hope you will have a better understanding of these special trips. Remember, all prices are subject to change based on availability. Dates are suggested only. Custom dates welcome! Payment options are available such as pay over time. All cards are accepted including cash or check. $300 holds one reservation.
Lisa La Valle-Finan is the owner of Old World Living Designs, a home furnishings company that captures the essence of European style on a flea market budget. Known playfully as the original “flea market fanatic” she decorates using “original, vintage, and found pieces’. The host of affordable flea market shopping trips to Europe throughout the year, she not only guides her clients through the fleas but shares her knowledge about local culture at the same time with a handy background in cultural anthropology. You can purchase all of her items for your home at her Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CREATiVECONVERZeNS. and now at Born Again Vintage in Montclair, NJ. To learn more email her directly at LLFinan@live.com