Florence’s central San Lorenzo Market includes two separate markets. One is the Central Market (Mercato Centrale), an indoor food market with a trendy upstairs gourmet food market and stalls selling everything from seasonal produce to Chianti wine and Tuscany's famed olive oil on the ground floor. The other is an outdoor souvenir market that has as many trinkets and affordable souvenirs as leather goods and other Florentine crafts for which the region is known.
While travelers can visit independently, many Florence cooking courses and food tours also begin with a walk through the Central Market so visitors can learn about Italian food markets and select ingredients to use during the lesson. A stroll through the outdoor San Lorenzo Market is always fun, and exploring the market with a small-group walking tour of Florence can help you get to know it like a local. Many sightseeing tours include the market along with some of the most famous sights in the city such as the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, and the Uffizi Gallery.
Things to Know Before You Go
- At the Central Market’s upstairs food court, excellent local cuisine is served nonstop from late morning to midnight.
- Many of the stalls in the street market are operated by nearby shops, so if you're looking for a different size or style, you may be led from the stall to the shop.
- Bring your haggling skills to the souvenir market, known for its hard bargaining and upselling.
- As in any public place, be aware of yourself and surroundings while in the outdoor market, as pickpocketing can happen.
How to Get to There
The San Lorenzo Market and Mercato Centrale are located in Florence's city center, just a short walk from the Santa Maria Novella train station.
When to Get There
Both markets are open year-round, but the outdoor market shuts down in inclement weather. Spring and fall are the best seasons to explore the food market, and summer is best to wander through the souvenir market.
Tuscan Wine at the San Lorenzo Market
If you've discovered a label you particularly like during a wine tour or wine tasting in Florence, stop in the Central Market and visit the well-stocked wine shop upstairs.