Since 1873, the covered markets of Florence have been hosting the agricultural and food trade in the city. Recently we told you about the new Central Food Market, while today we would like to introduce you to the Sant’Ambrogio market, the hub of commercial activities within the neighborhood that bears the same name. Sant’Ambrogio food market is less glamorous than its counterpart, and has always been displaying popular and genuine features. In addition to fruit and vegetable stalls, located outside, the market hosts inside various food shops, including butcher shops, delicatessens, bakeries and a bar, as well as the historical trattoria Da Rocco.
Started in the mid-80s by Rocco Mangino (who gave his name to the restaurant), it is currently run by his son Paolo. Every Florentine knows that Trattoria Da Rocco is one of a kind: in fact, it lies somewhere between a normal restaurant and the so-called “street food”. Reservations are not accepted, if you want to taste the kitchen’s delicacies you have to get in line, and wait your turn! But no fear, the waiting usually does not last more than 10-15 minutes, as the place follows the “fast food” tradition. Sits are limited, and once you sit at the table you may find yourself sharing it with other customers. But that’s part of the game, and of the folk tradition that Rocco keeps bringing forward.
“When my father started his activities – Paolo Mangino recalls – the idea of quick lunches and street food, so widespread nowadays, was virtually unknown in Florence. There were very few of us offering a catering service in the area. It was just us and the Cibreo “. Thirty years later, Rocco has become a true institution in Florence, beloved citizens and even known abroad: “In the past years tourists did not know about us, we were totally dedicated to the community. Then, through word of mouth, they started arriving too. Gradually we were even included in international guides, French and Japanese … and we just opened a website one year ago! “, Paolo reports.
The success achieved by Trattoria Da Rocco over the years, though, is easily explained if we consider its key principles: Tuscan cuisine, quality products, low prices: “I buy fruits and vegetables here at the market – says Paolo – while I purchase the meat from suppliers who also serve the butchers nearby. Our dishes follow the traditional Tuscan cuisine, from ribollita to tripe, lampredotto, boiled meat and panzanella. Food is prepared day by day, and we try to keep prices affordable for everyone: the wine is paid according to consumption, pasta and soups cost 4 euro, main dishes cost 5 euro, side dishes cost 3.50 euro. You can also buy takeaway food. The food is the same that you can find at the tables, and we also provide bread and plastic cutlery “. So, what are you waiting for, in order to enjoy a quick and delicious break?
Trattoria Da Rocco is located within the Sant’Ambrogio market, is open only at lunch lunch (12: 00 -14: 30), from Monday to Saturday.
At this address you can find more information about Trattoria Da Rocco and its activities.