SACI Student Blogger Micaela Rebelo scoured Florence to locate some of the best markets in the city. Whether you're interested in vintage clothing, fresh produce, or 1940's photography, check out her list of favorites and suggestions for where you should go for your next great find.
1. MERCATO DELLE CASCINE
This market is only open on Tuesdays from 8am-2pm, but it is definitely worth the trip if you can make it over there before they start to close. Not only can you snag vintage clothes for one euro, but you can also find local produce and street food. As a thrift junkie, my favorite part was looking through the piles and piles of clothes and the amount of vendors seemed to never end. Make sure to bring cash as none of the vendors have card payment available and there isn’t an ATM in sight.
2. MERCATO DI SANT’AMBROGIO
If you love a good deal on jewelry and other similar things, this is the market for you. This market takes the top tier on accessories compared to all the others because of the prices and the variety. Instead of paying five euros at Mercato di Santo Spirito for a gemstone ring, you pay one and your bank account will thank you for it. They also have an assortment of vintage clothing vendors where you can find some great pieces for only five euros. The prices are not as good as Mercato delle Cascine but they are open everyday from 7am-2pm which makes it way more accessible. They also have an inside market which has amazing Florentine cuisine and fresh produce.
3. MERCATO DELLE PULCI
Only a few steps away from Mercato Di Sant’Ambrogio, this market is a bit quieter and off the radar from most tourists. However, they have an amazing collection of vintage and antique items. My favorite vendor has an assortment of vintage photographs and postcards for only one euro a piece. I like to take a walk down there just to try to read the back of some of the postcards and letters, some dating all the way back to the 1940’s. For my fellow photographers they even have some daguerreotypes available to admire. The rest of the market is filled with vintage clothing and furniture vendors which are great to browse for inspiration, but a little pricey if you are on a student budget.
4. MERCATO DI SANTO SPIRITO
Taking a weekend trip to the other side of the river for this market is well worth it. They have an assortment of vintage clothing, jewelry, and handbag vendors. I found this market to be a bit pricier, as I think this is on a lot of the public’s radar, but you can definitely still find some gems. It’s also just a great place to hang out and have a drink and some aperitivo with the locals.
5. MERCATO CENTRALE
What would a trip to Florence be without a trip to the Mercato Centrale? There is nothing quite the experience of the vendors outside yelling at you in every language until you respond, but if you can make it inside the market there are some great deals to be found. On the main level you’ll find fresh pasta for five euros and tons of fresh produce including some amazing cheeses. Take a trip upstairs and you’ll find a great open area to have lunch or even a small snack. The food is so fresh you can’t go wrong with anything you choose to eat in this market.
- Micaela Rebelo
Micaela Rebelo is a SACI student from Parsons School of Design, studying abroad in Florence during the Spring 2020 Term.
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