The covered markets arose from the urban clearance process that concerned Italian and European city centers during the second half of the XIXth century. Nowadays, they remain one of the most fascinating heritage of cast-iron architecture. In Florence, the Sant’Ambrogio Market and the San Lorenzo Market (also known as Central Market), were designed by the architect Giuseppe Mengoni (who was also responsible for Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan), and respectively opened to the public in 1873 and 1874.
While the former managed to keep its vegetable/fruit market role to this day, in recent years the Central Market experienced a serious crisis, due to the advent of large retailers and to the inhabitants’ flight from the historic city center. Since the ’80s, in fact, the first floor of the building was abandoned. In the spring of 2014, however, Umberto Montano and Claudio Cardini started a massive renovation process, that put the first floor of the Central Market back in the spotlight as one of the most significant places in Florence. The refurbishment of the building and a new, eye-catching design, allowed the “craftsmen of taste” to occupy that space once again.
Today, on the first floor of the Central Market, all sorts of delicacies are for sale: bread and pastries, fresh fish, fried meatballs, fruit and vegetables, meat and salami, mozzarella, cheese, chocolate and ice cream, pasta, wine, lampredotto, sandwiches. The shops are run by food artisans, sharing a strong passion for their job. In many cases, the shops are even branches of the small businesses located in the streets of the old town.
Compared to the past, though, the Central Market offers new opportunities to the public. In addition to shopping, customers can now sit and have a meal, at any time of the day or the evening. There are 500 seats, and the products are a guarantee in terms of quality: all the food served in the Market (from pizza to lampredotto, from fried and grilled fish to grilled meat), is cooked on the spot, using exclusively the raw materials that are for sale within the Market itself. What better chance to dive deeply into the traditional Tuscan cuisine?
The new Florence Central Market is located between Via Panicale, via dell’Ariento, via Rosina and Piazza del Mercato Centrale, in the heart of the San Lorenzo district and at walking distance from our residences. The Market is open daily, from 10 am until midnight.
At this address you can find more information about the Central Market and its activities.
Yours Farina de’ Cantucci