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turiste con gelato

Florence has been a market town since the Middle Ages, and therefore offers an infinite number of small and large markets.

 

porcellinoThe city markets mirror the people who use them and offer visitors the scent and colours typical of a city; when in Florence, it is worth visiting at least a couple of them.
 If you are looking for good fruit and vegetables in Florence, a souvenir gift, or a typical Florentine lunch, the place to go is the San Lorenzo Market, located in the streets around Piazza San Lorenzo and the Basilica of the same name.

The market consists of two separate parts: an outdoor market with the typical “barroccini” (as the Florentines call the stalls) which sells leather goods, ceramics, paper, as well as scarves, clothes, T-shirts, and souvenirs. In the midst of the open-air market is the Central Market, covered and completely dedicated to food, set in a beautiful building made of cast iron and glass dating to 1874, designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni (the designer of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan). On the ground floor are food counters, while on the first floor, with a modern and innovative design, are a dozen shops of contemporary “artisans of taste” where you can taste the specialties and watch them being prepared. There is also a restaurant, pizzeria, wine bar and a cafeteria with 500 seats.

For an even more typical environment, you should try the Sant'Ambrogio Market in the popular Santa Croce neighbourhood. It is a covered building, square and smaller than the Central market, also designed by the architect Mengoni. On three sides, the market has a fine loggia that houses the fruit and vegetable stalls, and those for various other items. You can breathe in a peaceful atmosphere of bygone days, with the neighbourhood ladies who come to do their daily shopping and a few tourists.

Not far from the Sant'Ambrogio market is the Flea Market which is temporary displayed on the piazza Annigoni. It has actually moved from the original piazza dei Ciompi, where stands the sixteenth-century Loggia del Pesce, designed by Giorgio Vasari, brought from the Old Market which stood in what is now Piazza della Repubblica. Every last Sunday of the month, additional stalls are set up with the usual ones, in the surrounding streets.

Standing out as one of the busiest markets in Florence is the New Market, better known as the Porcellino Market, named after the famous bronze statue of a wild boar, but renamed by the Florentines with this slightly mocking nickname. Located under a beautiful sixteenth century loggia designed by Gian Battista del Tasso, the market originally sold fine fabrics, then in the nineteenth century, straw hats (hence the additional designation of Mercato della Paglia- Straw Market) and now sells mainly leather goods, scarves and souvenirs.

 

 

Published: 6/6/2016

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