Mercato Centrale, Florence
Just behind the stalls of the San Lorenzo outdoor market along Via dell’Ariento are the vast halls of Mercato Centrale: an 1874-established foodie's paradise of fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, spices, cheeses, meats, wine, dried pastas and mushrooms, and every other type of comestible for the kitchen you can think of. If you’re renting an apartment with cooking facilities, here’s where to stock the panty. Traveling on a budget? Great place to pick up yummy picnic fixin’s.
Just down the street from San Lorenzo is the large building that houses the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, Florence’s central market. This indoor market is open Monday through Friday from 0700 to 1400 and Saturdays from 0700 to 1700. I wandered around this market on Saturday morning and enjoyed just watching the locals do their shopping, lining up for meats, cheeses, produce, or breads. It had a loud, boisterous atmosphere as the shopkeepers called out to their customers about daily specials.
This is the largest covered market in Europe and you can buy all kinds of ingredients from there. You can get some things incredibly cheap at times.
What to buy: I bought every day bit of fresh cherries, 3 ? per kg and fruits. As a souvenir, I bought a bottle of 15 years old balsamico, around 8 ?.
You can find anything you want in the Mercato Centrale.
What to buy: Once you find something you want, look for a low price and then start you haggling.
What to pay: You can get a low price just compare and offer what you think you should pay.
A little north of the Medici Chapel is the Central market, which is a mix of a local food market and a tourist market. Outside stretching all the way to Piazza San Lorenzo is a locally made leather goods market.
If you find yourself in the Mercato Centrale Florence (address Piazza S Lorenzo 5/R 50123 Firenze Florence Italy), DO NOT BUY any leather coats or accessories from PARSA LEATHER COATS & ACCESSORIES. The owner ALBERTO is a liar and a thief. He will sell you a coat on the premise it can be made to your specifications and FEDExed to your home anywhere in the world within 10 business days duty free. Two and a half months later and with the help of a merchant across the street (who I must say is an honourable man) the coats were eventually shipped and one of them is NOT what I had purchased. When I have attempted to contact the store 39 055 29 41 59 Alberto is never there and the remaining staff are unwilling to help or cannot speak English. If you want to have GREAT EXPERIENCE GO TO BOTTEGA FIORENTINA across the street and ask for GIANLUCA. This man voluntarily helped me with the communications barrier to assist me in getting Alberto to live up ti him commitment.
What to buy: LEATHER COATS - go to BOTTEGA FIORENTINA and ask for GIANLUCA!!!!
The enter name is Farmacia Del Mercato Centrale Del Dr Messori Federico! And, it is amazing! The fresh fish looks fantastic! I wished I had a kitchen in our hotel room so we could make and eat such wonderful produce and meat. This market was very clean and people were eager to see if you were interested in anything.
The Mercato centrale was our favorite place in Florence! you can go there in the morning for fresh pastries and paninis, delicious cappuccino and expresso, all on the cheap! Everything there is fresh and delicious!
What to buy: Leather, clothing, wine, salami, cheeses, paper goods
What to pay: Everything is cheap in Florence, relatively speaking, of course!
In Florence leather market. Saw a jacket on street in tent, and myself and friend were taken back into storefront where I tried on jacket etc. Was "helped" by "owner" who said he did not have one in stock, gave me a "good" price etc... and would mail it.
He told a great story of his business , how is first girlfriend was from my home etc... My friend and I had no reason to be suspicious.
One month later i tried to track the jacket and realized the phone number etc were false. Looked on line and there many negative reviews of this shop owner etc... same circumstances.
What a horrible experience and reflection on Florence.