Here's the take-home message right at the start. The Mercato Centrale is a marvellous meat, seafood, charcuterie, fruit and vegetable market patronised by Florentines. It's housed in a beautiful 1874 Art Deco iron and glass structure and is one of the most interesting and colourful markets in Europe. In contrast, the outdoor San Lorenzo market is a crowded cluster of booths and barrows populated by aggressive touts selling overpriced tourist tat, mainly of Chinese and Indian origin.
Let's go first at the Mercato Centrale of Firenze. Here's how it looks, outside and in.
|The exterior of the Mercato Centrale in Florence.|
|Just one of dozens of produce stands in the Mercato Centrale.|
The Mercato opens Monday through Saturday early in the morning (7 am) and closes at 2 pm. By 1.30 pm many of the stalls are already closed or closing. The Mercato Centrale is an easy stroll from the Duomo.
|Tourist souvenirs on sale at the Mercato San Lorenzo|
Note: a classic scam practised by some vendors at this market works as follows. You order a couple of high quality leather jackets in a size currently out of stock, to be send to you by post. What arrives is a rubbishy item nothing like what you ordered, but your credit card is charged for two expensive jackets. You contest this with your card company but the vendor has a shipping receipt. The card company says there's nothing they can do.
Today's top links: For everything you need to know about what to do and where to stay in Tuscany: The Chianti Travel Guide and The Greve in Chianti Tuscany Blog.
Author: Anna Maria Baldini
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