Begin your week at Mercato Centrale Firenze (piazza del Mercato Centrale/via dell’Ariento), the city’s oldest and largest food market nestled in a striking iron-and-glass structure designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni in 1874. While the contemporary first floor pulls in informed punters, don’t forget to frequent the independent vendors on the historic ground floor. (Baroni’s cheese is among the best of the bunch, as too is the unassuming fried fish stall tucked away in a corner.) It’s open daily from 8am to midnight in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood.
Tuesday mornings are the turn of the Cascine Market. Walk, cycle or take the tram (line 1) for your grocery needs. A one-kilometre stretch of produce, household goods, meat and cheese stalls along viale Lincoln lines the riverside between 7am and 2pm.
Midday provisioning brings shoppers to the hustle and bustle of the Mercato delle Cure, temporarily housed in piazza Enrico Berlinguer by the Fiorentina football stadium while the residential square undergoes a makeover—piazza delle Cure is expected to reopen in May. Open every day of the week from 7am to 1pm, this is a market for locals, making it the ideal location for perfecting the fiorentino dialect.
Roll on Thursday and Friday: check out Sant’Ambrogio, the city’s beloved neighbourhood market. Open from Monday to Saturday 7am-2pm in piazza Ghiberti, fresh food produce stalls sprawl out from all sides of the covered building, while vendors inside sell the finest meats, cheese and fish. Grab a bite at butcher Luca Menoni’s lunch spot.
On the first Saturday of the month, from 8am to 8pm, Il Mercatale in piazza della Repubblica hosts organic producers from within a kilometre of the city limits, reconnecting urbanites with their rural roots.
For your Sunday morning jaunt, cross the river to piazza Santo Spirito, where La Fierucola pops up every third Sunday of the month from 9am to 7pm. Locals are treated to mostly organic produce as well as specialty breads, homemade honey and fruit juice. Even if you have only a smattering of Italian, strike up a chat with one of the local vendors, who are keen to expand on the more laconic conversations that pass over a schiacciata.
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