The Florence Market Scene

One of the best things about living in such a small and walkable city, in the ease of running into all kinds of open markets.  Who doesn’t love markets?   There is something about outdoor tents and locals peddaling their wares that epitomizes this Italian life, and I guess it’s only fair to share some of my favorites.
Let’s start the Oltrarno.


Photo credit: Lindsay Osborne

Piazza Santo Spirito hosts several markets depending on the day.  There is the (almost) daily market in the piazza with clothes, brass goods, fruits and vegetables and odds and ends.  But then, to spice it up, on the 2nd Sunday of the month (not August) there is the Flea Market.  Oh, how I love this one.  The piazza is filled with antiques, food, candy and clothing.
The 3rd Sunday of the month hosts the organic, biological market.  From handmade and homegrown foods, to wooden toys, woolen rugs and ceramics, this is a bit smaller than the Flea Market, but great in its own vein.

Piazza Della Repubblica

Here you can find a great flower and plant market on Thursdays from September to June.  Perfect for those with a green thumb or flair for flowers.  Just around the corner is the Porcellino Market, with leather and bags along with scarves and shirts, just a typical market in Florence.  While you are there, boost your luck by putting a coin in the mouth of and rubbing the nose of the wild boar statue that the market was named after.
Le Cascine Market in the Cascine Park
Tuesdays from 7am-2pm, this spans the length of the river and is complete with clothing, goods and food, and is a market dedicated to serving the needs of the local community, one of the few that does not cater to tourists.

Fortezza Antiques Market

At the Fortezza Park (one of my favorite parks in Florence-check out the fountain and the ducks) there is an Antiques Market on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday of the month- for all you antique-lovers (me!).

For food, I love the Sant’Ambrogio outdoor market with all of its beautiful fruits and vegetable and a quick stroll indoors for meats and cheeses is well worth the time.  This market opened in 1874 after the Piazza della Repubblica market closed down, and is a great place to find typical local products like tripe, lampredotto and tongue.  In recent years, there is also a development of imported products that foreign residents can’t get enough of such as cilantro, exotic fruits and cheddar cheese.

Also, the Central Market with its gorgeous rennovation of the upper level is a foodie heaven that boasts some of the best products in an atmosphere that reminds me of a school caffeteria, in a good way.

Leave a Reply