Naples has bargains everywhere but some only for the locals

Unlike residents of most cities in Europe, the people of Naples don’t have to look far for a bargain. Every street, every lane has its own small bazaar, its own street market, where prices are very, very reasonable. The euro has made its presence felt even here: What used to cost 5,000 lira (830 drachmas) now costs 5 euros. Nevertheless, the city has its own special rules. On just one outing you can find (stolen) mobile phones at discounts of 50-60 percent of the regular price. A pair of Calvin Klein jeans, which cost 180 euros in the stores, goes for just 24 euros. In the open market of Poggioreale, near the prison, shoes come at discounts of 40 percent (a pair of running shoes could cost less than 20 euros). Some of these are imitation brands or factory seconds, and some from stock houses. There is everything from sportswear to stolen stereo systems, mobile phones and cameras. One has to drive a hard bargain, however. The Duchesca market near the main railway station is also good for sportswear, as well as tools, machines, gloves, bicycles and camping gear at prices 30 percent below those in the stores. A tent costs about 40 euros. At the Duschesca is a smaller market with pirated CDs, computer games, PC programs, DVDs and video cassettes at about 5 euros each. This market is strictly for Neapolitans however, and even Italians who do not speak in the local accent are not looked kindly upon. Food bargains are found at the big Fuorigotta market, where there are small stores and outdoor stands. Fruit and vegetables are 35 percent cheaper than in the supermarkets (a kilo of tomatoes costs about 1 euro) and other food is about 20 percent cheaper. Usually everything is fresh and of good quality. The Antignano market, in the suburb of Vomero, also sells fruit at about a 20 percent discount and other food at a 10 percent markdown. Women’s clothing is also available at lower prices, although the quality is not the best. Kitchen goods and soaps cost about 30 percent less. For fish and other seafood the place to go is the Porta Nolana market, where prices are 40 percent cheaper, but you have to know how to pick and choose as some of the produce could be stale or defrosted. A Chinese market sells household goods and tools at 40 percent discounts, and the more touristy Pignafecca in the center of town sells clothing, drinks and traditional wares for 10-30 percent less than in supermarkets and other stores. Neapolitans get books and office supplies from the Portalba street markets, where second-hand books come at very low prices, and new ones at a 25 percent reduction, about 12 euros. The cheapest supermarket chains are Despar and D per D, where prices are 15 percent lower than elsewhere. Slightly more expensive is the GS supermarket chain.