Markets in Florence
Alongside beautiful churches, museums and monuments, Florence also offers a wide variety of markets throughout the year. Some of them are open nearly every day of the week, others once a week, once a month or only during a specific time of the year. Here are some of the most important markets within the city of Florence:
San Lorenzo Central Market
One of Florence’s most famous markets is located in the centre of the city, near the San Lorenzo church. It was constructed, just like the Sant’Ambrogio market (below), when Florence was to become the capital of Italy and the ‘Mercato Vecchio’ (old market) had been demolished to make way for the current Piazza della Repubblica.
The building consists of two floors of which only the ground floor is being used for commerce at the moment. Over 100 stalls may be found here, selling mainly meat, fish, bread, fruit and vegetables. Outside the market vendors at an open air market sell mainly clothing, leather goods, gifts and souvenirs.
Where? Piazza del Mercato Centrale
When? Monday to Friday from 7 am – 2 pm / Saturday from 7 am – 5 pm
The Sant’Ambrogio market is essentially a smaller version of the San Lorenzo market and was designed by the same architect, Giuseppe Mengoni. The indoor section of the market offers food for purchase and various places to eat. Outside the building there are all different kinds of stalls selling goods varying from fruit and vegetables to clothing, from household products to plants and flowers. Where? Piazza Ghiberti
When? Monday to Saturday from 7 am – 2 pm
Mercato del Porcellino
This market actually has three different names, of which ‘Mercato del Porcellino’ refers to the wild boar statue by Pietro Tacca. Other names are ‘Loggia del Mercato Nuovo’ (loggia of the new market) and ‘mercato della paglia’ (straw market), referring to the traditional Florentine straw hats that were sold here in the nineteenth century. Nowadays it houses a tourist market selling mainly leather goods and souvenirs.
Where? Via Por Santa Maria – Via Calimala – Via Porta Rossa
When? Monday to Sunday from 9 am – 7.30 pm
Mercatino delle Pulci
Piazza dei Ciompi is dedicated to the wool workers who led the famous riot that took place here in 1378. The ‘Loggia del Pesce’ is located here, an architectural work by Giorgio Vasari which originally was situated at the Mercato Vecchio but had to be transferred when the new Piazza della Repubblica was being constructed in the 19th century. The stalls in the centre of the square sell mainly antiques, jewellery, clothing, books, CDs and other collectors' items. Every last Sunday of the month, the market is enlarged by additional stands occupying the surrounding streets.
Where? Piazza dei Ciompi
When? Monday to Saturday from 9 am – 7:30 pm / Every last Sunday of the month from 9 am – 7:30 pm
The Cascine market
This market takes place in the 395 acre large Cascine Park, the largest green space in the city. Hundreds of stalls (containing food, fresh fruits and vegetables, clothing for men/women/children, clothes, shoes, bags, household products, small antiques, and other products) are set up on the 3 km long street along the river Arno.
Where? Viale Lincoln, Cascine Park
When? Tuesdays from 7 am – 2 pm
All Sundays in December and Tuesday prior to Christmas from 8 am – 6 pm
The four Sundays prior to Easter and Ascension Day from 8 am – 7:30 pm
The Fortezza da Basso - named to distinguish it from the Forte Belvedere - is a masterpiece of military architecture, built around 1530 and designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger at the behest of Alessandro de’ Medici.
The stalls - where you can buy collectibles, historical artefacts, antique furniture and much more - are situated around the pond and along the paths of the gardens of the Fortezza.
Where? Garden of the Fortezza da Basso
When? Every third weekend of the month from 9 am – 7:30 pm
Once a month the Piazza della Repubblica, formerly the location of the ‘Mercato Vecchio’, becomes the centre of the work of local farmers and artisans. Around 90 different manufacturers sell all kinds of local produce: wine, oil, fruit and vegetables, salami, cereals, cheese, honey and other typical products, predominantly from organic farming.
Where? Piazza della Repubblica
When? First Saturday of the month from 8 am – 8 pm (except in January, July and August)
Oltrarno arts and crafts market
The Santo Spirito square in the Oltrarno District is one of the most lively and picturesque places in this area south of the river Arno. The square takes its name from the Santo Spirito church, which houses works by Michelangelo and Filippino Lippi. Stands with ethnic arts and crafts are set up in the square and in the nearby Borgo Tegolaio.
Where? Piazza Santo Spirito
When? Every second Sunday of the month from 9 am – 7 pm (except in July and August)
Until the nineteenth century, the Rificolona farmer’s market was traditionally held in Piazza SS.ma Annunziata on the occasion of the birth of the Virgin Mary. From 1984 onwards this tradition has seen a revival and nowadays multiple ‘Fierucole’ are being held every month, dedicated mainly to small-scale organic farming, crafts and rural life, involving small family farms and local artisans.
Where? 1) Piazza Santissima Annunziata
2) Piazza Santo Spirito
When? 1)First weekend of the month in September, October, November and the 8th of December
from 9 am – 7:30 pm
2)Third Sunday of every month from 9 am – 7:30 pm (except August)
Another tradition is that of the local markets (a network spread throughout the municipality, including more suburban areas). At these many stalls you can buy a whole range of products, mainly fruits and vegetables, clothing and household products.
Where? Porta Romana
Piazza S. Spirito
Ponte Rosso (ground floor area)
Piazza delle Cure
Viale Fanti (inside the gardens of the stadium)
Largo Monzani (Via Aretina)
Via Benedetto Marcello
Piazza de’ Nerli
Piazza Piero della Francesca
Piazza Dalmazia (Rifredi)
Via Salvi Cristiani
Via E. De Amicis (San Salvi)
Via Giardino della Bizzarria
Viale B. Croce (Sorgane)
When? Monday to Saturday from 8 am – 2 pm
Every year around Christmas several squares in the city of Florence house the city’s Christmas markets. These markets are known for their elaborate nativity scenes and décor, delicious local foods and wonderful seasonal gifts. The first market will be a traditional German market held at Piazza Santa Croce. Another Christmas market, Firenze Noël, can be found at the Stazione Leopolda Firenze. This old railway station will be transformed into a true winter wonderland. Other markets include the ‘Fierucola’ in Piazza Ss. Annunziata and the benefit market in Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
Where? Piazza Santa Croce
Stazione Leopolda Firenze
Piazza Santissima Annunziata
Piazza Santa Maria Novella
... and more
When? Every year around Christmas time