Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Markets

By now you probably have the impression that all we did on our trip was visit churches, but that's only part of the picture.  One of our favourite things to do is visit the local fruit and veggie markets, and there are great ones in Florence.

We started with a small local market, where locals were doing their (probably daily) shopping to pick up whatever fresh fruit and veggies they needed.

The season seemed far ahead of ours, and of course there were varieties of tomatoes, figs, and other fruit that we would simply never find here.

It's a hustling, bustling, hectic and very colourful place.  This is one place where you get away from the tourist crowds.  I think 90% of the customers were local residents.

It wasn't just fruit and veggies either.  There were great cheeses, a better variety than we see here, and fish as well - above are the traditional salt cod fillets.

And some more unusual produce of the sea!

Shops had rows of pork shoulders or prosciutto hanging from the ceiling.  One of our favourites; Mrs. F.G.'s father used to make this.

And nice rabbits for dinner - not something we've ever cooked.

After that little local market we headed over to the 'mercato centrale', the San Lorenzo market, in a large two story building built for this purpose over 100 years ago.  It's surrounded by the stalls of the outdoor market, selling clothes, hats, leather goods, and souvenirs.

With the Euro Cup 2016 on, football (what we call soccer) jerseys were popular.

But inside there is a wonderful market, with just about everything you can imagine in fresh food available, forty or fifty stalls altogether.

Several fish vendors.

And various other things like garlic and hot peppers.

And such exotic Italian treats as pig's ears.  Don't know how you go about cooking those.

Equally delightful is the upstairs, always just neglected space until two years ago, when it was opened as a food lover's emporium, complete with a cooking school.

Open til midnight every day, and very popular with locals, it has a wine bar, beer barr and coffee bar, and a dozen other stalls offering everything from cakes to sandwiches to pizza and pasta.  You can snack or have a full scale meal.  We enjoyed our snack, and I really enjoyed my fancy cappachino!


  1. Love visiting the markets around the world. A great way to see how people live, what they eat,etc. These look beautiful.

  2. What a great selection, and if they are open every day, the best way to have fresh goodies.

  3. This is all wonderful to see and somewhat overwhelming. I suppose the way of life is to buy the meal for the evening every single day. They sure save on packaging by not having any. I bet it was a fun experience but really large compared to our farmer market down here. Thanks for sharing all of the sights.

  4. So I"m guessing all the Summer fruit is out at the moment? That's the only part of Summer I like, I"m so eying up the cherries - my favourite :-)

  5. I love roaming around markets too so enjoyed your pictures of Italian markets. I always find it amusing to see big, fat men sporting football shirts with the name of some famous player.

  6. Love checking out local markets wherever we go.

  7. All that fresh fruit and vegetables - what a treat. Some unique things to eat too. : )

  8. Those markets are simply wonderful! Not only colorful and healthful, but as fresh as can be. Pigs' ears? Yuck! :-)

  9. I just love visiting markets like these ... brilliant.

    All the best Jan

  10. i have always dreamed of visiting a market like this, daily. it is so difficult to shop for a week and feel like your ingredients are fresh, as you prepare your meals!! this would be super fun for me, hold the rabbit and the octopus please!!!

  11. and you cappachino is beautiful!! almost too pretty to drink!!

  12. The market areas here look very busy!

  13. We loved all the markets on our trip. We do not see it like those here in Texas. And the wonderful flower stalls so affordable.

  14. You just reminded me that I have to call my mother in law and make sure there is some wild rabbit in the freezer for my trip home to Newfoundland in October. SO delicious!!