Mercato Centrale

Around Florence: 5 food markets

Historical and street markets of Florence

Fresh products, authentic food and real hospitality: food markets are the ideal attraction for a one-day shopping experience in Florence.

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Historical markets

The Mercato Centrale or Central Market and the Market of Sant’Ambrogio, were built in the late-nineteenth century when Florence was the capital of Italy. They were designed by architect Giovanni Mengoni, who also conceived the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

At the Mercato Centrale, in the San Lorenzo area, you'll find a diverse selection of shops offering visitors quality food from all over Italy, most of which are managed by the 3rd or 4th generation owners. Here, hospitality is a defining characteristic and shoppers can taste exhibited products. From April 23 2015, the first floor of Florence's Central Market is open again. The market's renewed space of 3000 mq  now offers 500 seatings and hosts 12 workshops, a restaurant, a pizzeria, a brewery, the Chianti Classico shop, a bookshop and a cooking school. Among the first floor new workshops you’ll find cheese, bread, gelato, chocolate, pasta and cold cuts shops exhibiting the best food products from Italy.

Central market
Central market - Credit: Mercato centrale Facebook page
Sant'Ambrogio Market
Sant'Ambrogio Market

However, Florentines' favourite market for shopping is the Sant’Ambrogio Market. In the Sant'Ambrogio area, you can find meat, fish, cheese and cured meats. Outside on the street, you can find the ‘barrocci’, the yelling fruit and vegetable sellers who shout their prices and deals to clients passing by; many of them have been working on the same pitch for years!

 

Street Markets

On Tuesdays, at the Cascine park (in the northern part of the City) is the Cascine Market, from 8 am to 1 pm. Hundreds of stalls selling food, clothing and housewares are located for about 3 km along the tree-lined avenue that runs along the Arno river.

Among the other street markets in the city is the monthly Santo Spirito Organic Market. Worthy of mention, it’s small but very popular among citizens. It takes place on the third Sunday of the month.

On the first Saturday of the month, Piazza della Repubblica or Piazza Santa Maria Novella, host the Mercatale market. Almost a hundred food producers from all over Tuscany come to sell wine, oil, fruit and vegetables, meats, grains, legumes, cheese, honey and local products, including fresh and organic foods.

If you want to know more, please check this map with address, opening days and hours

Cover image credit: Julio Cesar Mesa]

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Food and Wine