A plethora of famous monuments, stunning artwork, and historical sights might make you forget about enjoying the simpler things Florence has to offer, such as the wonderful markets. The markets are great places for finding trinkets and treasures to take home with you but are also bursting with Tuscan food, drink and leather goods.
The outdoor markets in Florence are a highlight of the city and give you an authentic Italian experience as you stroll through or haggle with the stall-holders. Below are the best markets in the city which we highly recommend checking out when staying in our holiday villas in Tuscany with a pool.
San Lorenzo Outdoor Market
San Lorenzo markets near the Basilica of San Lorenzo are actually comprised of two, one known as the Central Market. The outdoor market spreads out around the streets and squares surrounding the indoor central market and is the original leather market in the city. Dozens of street vendors sell leather goods and delightful Florentine souvenirs. Not everything you come across will be of good quality or a good bargain, but be prepared to spend some Euros on the quality items you do find, and be prepared to haggle. The outdoor market is popular with tourists and residents alike and opens from 9am to 7pm Tuesday to Saturday.
The 19th-century indoor market hall in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood sells fresh, local food. Restaurants nearby get the best quality ingredients for their menus, so if you don’t buy, these eateries are the places to go if you want to enjoy tasting the food on display. As Italians are very serious about food, there is nothing less than perfection available to buy. On the main ground floor, you will find butchers, fishmongers and delis, and fruit and vegetables are on the first floor. The central market is where many local Florentines will buy their food, and simply walking around the market is a fun exciting experience. It is open 7am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.
Located in the centre of the city, Mercato Nuovo, or Porcellino market has seen many changes over the years. First opened in the Renaissance as a silk and gold market for the wealthy residents of Florence, it now sells mostly leather goods and other souvenirs. The name Porcellino comes from the statue of the wild boar found in the market, and rubbing its nose is said to bring good luck. It is open 9am to 7pm Tuesday to Sunday.
The Sant’Ambrogio market is an indoor and outdoor market which sells local ingredients, found in Piazza Ghiberti. Found away from the usual tourist attractions of Florence, it is more for locals than visitors, but if you do visit, you are sure to find it full of colour and character and an authentic Italian feeling. In addition to the food, the market also has stalls for clothes, household items and trinkets. Open 8am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.
Santo Spirito Flea Market and Artisan Market
In the Oltrarno quarter of Florence, you will find a quiet daily market for the locals in the Piazza Santo Spirito, but once a month, on the second Sunday, it is buzzing. The flea market transforms the piazza into a lively market, and a combination of antiques, food, handmade goods and vintage clothes are for sale, under the shadow of one of Florence’s underrated churches. The following Sunday, the piazza is bustling again for the Artisan Market. The focus of products to buy is organic, local and handmade ranging from wine, bread and honey to handmade jewellery, furniture, candles and household items.
For more information about attractions and activities to do when you are staying in Florence and Tuscany, contact us today and browse our blog articles so you can be prepared and get excited for your holiday to Italy!