Swindlers’ Market.

On a square dedicated to the saint patron of needleworkers and television, behind the convent sanctifying the memory of the protector of orphans and widows, Lisbon’s lady thieves are having their weekly gathering. Make of that what you wish.
For being a convivium of malfeasants the Feira da Ladra is a pretty out-in-the-open kind of event. In facts, unlike other such markets where there’s a real possibility of finding the pieces that once made up your bike or moped, this one feels quite legitimate. More flea market than ‘let’s-sell-whatever-we-nicked-from-that-guy’s-garage’.
Click on any photo to start the slideshow.
There’s a preponderance of minor antiques, books and clothes sold at bargain prices. The crowd is decidedly local. The only concession to style is a ghetto of sorts for artists, protected by a burly security guard in case anyone wants to liberate wooden bow-ties or other trinkets. Few bother venturing in, preferring to stay under the trees to scan the books, the flotsam of domestic possessions that have stopped being used some 50 years ago and the omnipresent trays of old coins.
Click on any photo to start the slideshow.
What’s worth of mention and praise, though, is the presence of a modest tavern, aptly named La Tabernita. A humble place with long tables stretching into the piazza under an awning, chequered paper tablecloths and menu written on a laminated piece of paper stapled to the wall. The place where the soup of the day is always served with a large chunk of bread, where a jug of the house’s white wine is readily available at 11AM and the view on the ‘thieves’ is almost completely unimpeded.
And that, as they say, is that.
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20 Responses to Swindlers’ Market.

  1. richandalice says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll take the plaster Lassie dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for transporting me to this marketplace with its ‘convivium of malfeasants’ and its ‘flotsam of domestic possessions’. Not only does your language paint a vivid picture, but your street images are also marvelous!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Trust Lisa to pick out your most redolent phrases! but they do certainly set the scene, as do your photos. I love places like this, if only for the photo ops. It’s kindling an idea to visit the local Vancouver flea market. Of course with my camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave Ply says:

    Is it possible a flea market is more indicative of a culture than the food markets? How high is the risk of actually catching fleas? 😉 Ultimately, I suppose it’s a universal truth that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • awtytravels says:

      Well, I’d say that food market and flea markets can both be very indicative, provided they’re authentic. There’s a market in Madrid, San Miguel, not too far off the Royal Palace. That has unfortunately become as far from ‘Spain’ as it gets, methinks.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your honesty and not trying to glamorize it!


  7. J.D. Riso says:

    I was going to mention your impressive vocabulary, but others beat me to it. A fabulous tour, as always. Love wandering through legit flea markets.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bama says:

    I don’t remember the last time I went to a flea market, so this gives me an idea of places to explore on weekend here in Jakarta — anything but malls easily pleases me these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lignum Draco says:

    Thanks for this post. I had wanted to visit this market but something else took my attention for that day instead. What a feast of life this must have been, to enjoy and soak up the atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. equinoxio21 says:

    Bacano! 😉 I’ve always had Lisboa on my radar. You can confirm it is worth the trip?
    Ci vediamo doppo… A +


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