Mercato Centrale, Florence
Mercato Centrale is a fabulous 19th century covered market.
You can come here to pick up ingredients for a cheap lunch, a meal or just a browse through the colourful fresh produce.
We were particularly intrigued by some of the items on offer in the meat section.....not the kind of things you see at Tesco!!
What to buy: The fruit and veg all looks delicious.
Leather jackets, colorful scarves, and stationery are all staples at this market. So, when you're low on cash, or ideas, but still have gifts and souveniers to buy, spend a couple hours browsing through the many stalls in San Lorenzo.
What to buy: Leather jackets, colorful scarves, and stationery are all staples at this market. So, when you're low on cash, or ideas, but still have gifts and souveniers to buy, spend a couple hours browsing through the many stalls in San Lorenzo.
To get the BEST deals, make sure that you take the side street. It runs in front of Mercato Centrale (the food market) and prices are sometimes much lower, although the options are fewer.
What to pay: There is room for bargaining. . . English is the language of choice. . .and what you pay depends on how good you are at bargaining, or if you're willing to do it at all.
Actually, Mercato Centrale is a building where you can find daily home necessities like meat, vegetables, fruits etc. Looks like a big supermarket that has 2 floors. But at the same time, what makes it special is souvenir shops around the building. You can find many more shops on Via dell' Ariento.
What to buy: Almost everything about gifts. Leather products, gift of jewellery, bags, t-shirts, jerseys, trinkets, magnets and many more...
Staying in the San Lorenzo area for my friends wedding meant that we were a short walk away from the Mercato Centrale. We made good use of this every morning! With meats, cheeses, croissants, and every other imaginable fresh produce, we ate well in the mornings. The food is cheap, fresh and served by lively individuals every morning. Not to be missed!!
What to buy: Fruit
What to pay: Cheaper than in supermarkets, and much fresher!
This is just one of the many different gourmet shops located in the ground floor of the Mercato Centrale near the San Lorenzo Market. I always come here before going home to pick up some olive oil and a bottle of balsalmic vinegar.
What to buy: Hundreds of types of meats and cheeses. Different types of Olive Oil and Vinegars. Truffle Oil. "Food Souviners"
What to pay: Tourist prices, but still less than back home.
Rub his nose for good luck. Inside, you will find food heaven. Everything from fresh truffles to cheese, to the most incredible pork sandwich. Outside, you will find leather, scarves, ceramics, etc.
What to buy: I bought three fresh truffles for 70 Euros, which I thought was an excellent deal. I also bought some wonderful cheese and 25 year old Balsamic vinegar. Outside, purses, wallets and fridge magnets.
What to pay: A lot less than in the US.
Walking through this market made me wish I had a complete kitchen in the hotel room!
I would have loved to buy much of the good food on display there and then go back and start cooking.But we had to restrict ourselves to getting some dried fruit for snacking. It was excellent!
The Mercato Centrale is not only a wonderful place to pick up fresh produce, meats, fish, oils, herbs and spices, but it is so colorful and full of life that there are incredible opportunities for some very creative photoshoots.
You can also eat at the little restaurants in the Mercato where you will find regional home cooking.
Anything you can think of from touristy trinkets to genuine leather jackets and gold jewelry. Walk through and just look or haggle for a good price.
Don't point at ANYTHING unless you really want it. The guys working the stands will notice and you'll spend more time trying to get away than enjoy the sights. Ignore their shouts (sometimes offensive) and pretend you don't understand them in order to get by.
Walk through once or twice if you have time before you make a purchase. That way you can see if the stand 2 blocks up has what you want for less. A lot of them will repeat items, so keep your eyes open for a better deal.
The whole thing packs up in the early evening, so hit it by lunchtime in order to get a good look at all the "goods".
What to buy: Florence is well-known for its leather and gold, so check it out, you might find that perfect souvenir.
What to pay: 1 euro- 100 euro...what do want and how good are you at haggling?
The thing about this shop is that as you can see, the meat is extremely fresh. You have to admit, this is a sight you don't see every day, or even want to see every day, but there is no doubt as to the age of the product.
What to buy: Wonderful selection of meat, including wild boar salami, bresaola, etc.
What to pay: Less than I expected.
Mercato Centrale is simply the place where you purchase all of your foodstuffs. If has two floors if I remember correctly and has every kind of food, drink and vegetable that you want, including food stalls where you could grab a quick lunch. I love food and I loved visiting, unfortunately we were staying in a hotel and I couldn't bring anything back except a bottle of limoncello!
Mercato Centrale, which is situated close to San Lorenzo, is open-air market that has cast-iron structure dating back to 1874. This market offers a variety of food shops catering to local residents and restaurants. There is also a dining corner where one can eat good food at ridiculously low prices.
Mercato Centrale is a great way to sample some of the fresh food and produce of Tuscany.
The market is open from monday to saturday, 7-14 hours, closed on sunday.
What to buy: A veriety of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, seafoods, pastas, oils, herbs, cheeses, bakeries.... Mercato Centrale is lively food market not to miss when visiting Florence.
A big building, combining industrial architecture with a hint of art noveau, the market halls of Florence are heaven for all those who hate supermarkets and the sight of plastic wrapped food. Here, shopping means an experience for all your senses - watching the merchants and their customers, smelling, listening, tasting, chatting while you shop. On a Saturday morning it will be cramped with Florentinian housewifes preparing for the Sunday menu, but no tourist should leave without getting some culinary souvenir to bring back just a taste of Italy
What to buy: there are dozens of stalls, if you have an apartment where yiu can do some cooking during your stay in Florence, you can buy fruit, vegetables and meat or poulty, otherwise you might stick to classics like pasta, wine, olive oil, dried herbs, dried mushrooms or tomatoes, parma ham and cheese. The selsection is huge and the prices are much better that in delicatessen shops.
What to pay: this really depends on the article you buy, but expect to pay considerably less than at specialty food stores at home
There is a fresh pasta shop in the Mercato Centrale. It is to die for. We've got these spinach and ricotta ravioli twice and there is nothing better. They also have homemade sauses and cut their fresh egg pasta as you order it. Their preperation room is open by windows and you can see the whole production taking place. We had a great time watching them make the ravioli. The price is fairly resonable. If you go on Tuesday they have a special on the ravioli for almost half the price. Granted you have to have a place to cook them but if you are staying in a hostel or appartment it works out great.
What to pay: 1 kg is about 7 euros. This even rivals the supermarket price for the prepacked assortments
There is a fresh pasta shop in the Mercato Centrale. It is to die for. We've got these spinach and ricotta ravioli twice and there is nothing better. They also have homemade sauses and cut their fresh egg pastas as you order it. They have a preperation room which is open by windows to the public eye and you can see the whole production taking place. We had a great time watching them make the ravioli. The price is fairly resonable. If you go on Tuesday they have a special price on the ravioli for almost half the price. Granted you have to have a place to cook them but if you are staying in a hostel or appartment it works out great.
What to pay: 1 kg is about 7-8 euros (the picture shows about 1/3 kilo). On Tuesday get the ravioli for 5 euros a kg. This even rivals the supermarket price for the prepacked assortments which go for around 8 euros a kg and are not that flavorful.