Whether you are shopping for ingredients to make dinner at your Air BnB or have worked up an appetite after exploring the Accademia Gallery, Mercato Centrale “Central Market” needs to be on your list of things to do when visiting Florence.
The building itself dates back to 1874, but the Central Market only just opened in 2014, making up the second half of the historic San Lorenzo Market
On the first floor, take your time to check out all of the vendors selling everything from seafood to spices to vegetables. It is a great way to immerse yourself with the locals. I found myself wanting to be a fly on the wall, just so I could take it all in. In the states, we are used to making one big grocery trip a week but in Italy, they shop every day. They buy what is in season or freshly caught. Walking through a local market in Italy is a wonderful way to connect with the people and place you are visiting.
Once you make a full lap around , head up to the second where you will find everything from sushi (yes, I said sushi) to pasta e pizza. This is the ultimate “food court.” You could spend a whole day, trying a little bit of everything from each of the “food artisans” who run the different storefronts.
We followed the smell of truffle, it was hard not to! And shared a beautiful plate of spaghetti at Savini’s Il Tartufo. This pasta started my truffle obsession. I ordered the same thing everywhere we went and none of them compared to the sauce at the Central Market.
We couldn’t help ourselves and continued on to fresh pasta next to try a few more including a tri-colored gnocchi and tortellini. When in Italy! ? They not only have wine to purchase by the glass but they also have a “birreria” where you can try locally brewed beer.
Sit anywhere you can find a spot and enjoy!
For more info on what not to miss at the Central Market, check out this great blog post by Culture Trip.
Via Generale dalla Chiesa, 13, 50136, Florence, Italy
Open 364 days a year
8am – Midnight