Mercato Centrale Firenze#6 in Best Things To Do in Florence
Located in an iron-and-glass building designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni in 1874, the Mercato Centrale Firenze is a great place to browse and stock up on tasty Italian foods. The ground floor of the market features vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, fish, olive oil, vinegars and other local goods. Upstairs from the vendors, you'll find a modern food hall, with shops selling everything from pizza to gelato, where you can sit down to a meal or pick up items for a picnic. Surrounding the building, dozens of vendors also sell artwork, pottery, jewelry, leather, clothing, souvenirs and anything else you can think of.
Recent visitors called the market fun and lively to visit, with lots of tempting things to eat and buy. They also said it was a great value for the money and recommended stopping in a few times over the course of your Florence visit.
The market is located in the San Lorenzo neighborhood, a few minutes from the cathedral and Piazza San Marco. It's easy to reach it on foot, but is also close to the Santa Maria Novella train station. Along with the vendors, the market also houses a cooking school, in addition to plenty of seating for enjoying your market finds. There are restrooms, but you'll have to pay a few euros to use them. The market is free to access and open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight. For more information, visit the market's website.
More Best Things To Do in Florence
#1 Piazza della Signoria
Loggia dei Lanzi, in the Piazza della Signoria, is an open-air (and free) museum that was designed in the 14th century by Orcagna, an influential architect and artist. Below the building's curved arches are dozens of sculptures (notable ones include Giambologna's Rape of the Sabines and Cellini's Perseus), which draw crowds of tourists and locals alike. Behind it sits the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Piazza della Signoria is also filled with its (more than) fair share of sculptures, including a towering replica of Michaelangelo's David.
Take your time wandering around, and if you get tired, grab a seat along the Loggia dei Lanzi, or make your way to a cafe near the Fountain of Neptune. Recent visitors said this is a must-see spot and a great area to people-watch, view magnificent sculptures and rest travel-weary feet (though past travelers recommended avoiding the restaurants in this area, calling them "outrageously overpriced." To avoid the height of the crowds, visit in the evening. Access to the area is free 24/7.
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