Ciao! As you probably know, the Italians are famed for their simple and delicious culinary dishes- all of which must start with the highest quality and freshest ingredients. The best local produce can be found at the markets here in Florence as well as many other treasures including clothing, jewelry, shoes, home goods, and more. It’s also a great place to easily find butchers, cheesemakers, fishmongers, bakeries, fresh pasta makers, grocers, and even fresh flowers all in one place. I enjoy shopping in the various markets throughout Florence and believe it is an important cultural experience that cannot be missed, so this week I’m going to share with you the best markets to shop fresh produce and other quality goods here in Florence.
These daily markets are a significant part of the Italian culture and are the perfect place for scoring quality leather goods, trying new amazing foods, and observing the local people shopping around the market stalls. Here are the best places to go shop and interact with local Italians while practicing your language skills to get the best prices:
San Lorenzo Market: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze (open Monday-Saturday 7am-6pm)
One of the most well known markets here in Florence is the San Lorenzo Market. Located nearby to the Church of San Lorenzo, the outside is an open air market made up of many colorful stalls selling leather goods, clothing, souvenirs, and other random goodies. The indoor market, known as the Mercato Centrale, is made up of two stories. The downstairs consists of many butchers, produce stands, bakers, fresh pasta producers, and also a few places to get delicious hot meals for pretty inexpensive. The upstairs is dedicated to many restaurants and shops selling classic Tuscan goods. This market is a must-visit in Florence as well as a great place for people watching.
Sant’Ambrogio Market: Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, 50122 Firenze (open Monday-Saturday 7am-2pm)
This is by far my favorite market in Florence (not only because I live so close by- but also) because it sells amazingly fresh local produce, meats, and home goods in an open-air market that really lets you experience the authentic Italian lifestyle and culture first hand. There is also an indoor market with a variety of shops where you will find many locals searching for the best deals on fresh produce, meats, cheeses, olives and olive oil. The quality cannot be beat, and the atmosphere is fantastically Florentine. This is where I personally shop to find great local produce at a low cost, just walk around and compare the many stalls full of colorful fresh fruits and veggies to find the best deals.
If you ever find yourself in Florence, checking out these markets as well as some of the other weekly or monthly markets is an absolutely amazing experience I cannot recommend highly enough. It is a great way to immerse yourself in the Italian community and culture, and to also observe (and practice!) the Italian art of living through pure experiences and enjoyment. I hope you have enjoyed this post and look forward to sharing more with you all soon. Ciao!