Florence Markets / Mercato
(Florence, Tuscany, Italy)
Full of character and real life, the busy markets in Florence, Italy are an integral part of local life. They provide a great place to find bargains or just browse around the wide variety of stalls and enjoy the exciting atmosphere and local market banter.
Florence's bustling markets range from the very large to the small, discreet collection of stalls, situated in small squares. They are held in many districts of the city and provide a fun way to shop, for both experienced and novice bargain hunters alike. Here are five of the main markets in Florence that are worth a visit.
Address: Cascine Park
Open hours: Tuesdays - 08:00 to 14:00
This is probably the biggest of the Florence markets. Every Tuesday morning, this market in the Cascine Park, to the west of the city, is where Florentines go to buy bargain-priced clothes and shoes.
San Lorenzo Market
Another market takes over Piazza San Lorenzo, alongside San Lorenzo Church, every day in the summer (not Sunday or Monday in Winter). Here, you can purchase some excellent leather goods, jewellery and clothing at this busy street market - and there are usually some stylish designer-label accessories at low prices.
Adjoining the piazza is the covered Mercato Centrale, which is also a great example of 19th-century architecture. The market is crowded with food stalls and is the principal food market in Florence. It is open from 09:00 to 14:00 and also between 16:30 to 19:30 on Saturdays, except in August.
The Mercato Nuovo (New Market) was founded in the 16th century and is located just to the west of the Piazza dell Signoria. Most of the market originally sold silk and gold, but is now aimed more at tourists, specialising in souvenirs and offers a wealth of gift ideas, including cheap lace, straw work and leather goods. It is open daily in summer and closed on Monday and Sunday in the winter.
Piazza dei Ciompi Market
There is also a small daily flea market which is situated in the Piazza dei Ciompi to the east of the city. This market sells a lot of bric-a-brac and secondhand goods. There are some regular antiques dealers that trade here, selling a variety of items, from furniture to china.