Prosciutto & Pollo at Mercato Centrale in Florence

Prosciutto at Mercato Centrale I was school-girl giddy about going to Mercato Centrale in Florence. This is one of the most impressive indoor produce, vegetable and meat markets in Italy, a foodie masterpiece.

A definite must of things to do in Florence.

It is the principal marketplace in town, where you can buy your groceries, oils, vinegars, etc. or eat a meal on the fly at one of the focaccia or pasta booths.

Immediately upon entering the double-doors of Mercato Centrale we were struck by the openly hanging prosciutto, salamis, and other cured meats. Along with the hustle and bustle of cheesemongers, butchers and hungry patrons. It was a welcomed gastronomical sensory overload.

We didn’t make it past the first booth where they were handing out free samples of Wild Boar salami. Not only was it something I had never eaten before, it was also delicious. We walked away purchasing a one foot link to bring home which they vacuum sealed so we wouldn’t be tempted to eat it before-hand. Good idea.
meat counter at Mercato Centrale

The hanging prosciutto were like the finest Picasso painting. I stood staring at them wondering who the artist was and if I could have an autograph.
Mercato Centrale Hanging Prosciutto

 Moving on to poultry. Cluck. Cluck. The aisles of Mercato Centrale were lined with pollo purveyors and I was fascinated by the fact the they don’t remove their heads or feet before displaying them.

Most of the animals were kept whole, instead of butchered into parts like in America.

We were told that it gives the perception of freshness and that the Italians are known for using the entire animal and not letting anything go to waste. Fried chicken feet anyone?
Mercato Centrale Poultry

The vegetable booths were amazing in color and freshness. This was the point where I wished we had rented a cute little cottage with a kitchenette, so I could whip up something traditional with all the brilliant ingredients before me. I had visions of a large, spirited, al fresco dining experience with food and wine flowing freely.

One of the million reasons to revisit.
Mercato Centrale Dried FruitsMercato Centrale Vegetables

Since we were lacking the cucina, we did the next best thing…munched on focaccia for only 2,30 Euros a slice!
Fresh focaccia at Mercato Centrale

A visit to Mercato Centrale is something that changes the way you look at food, freshness and the gastronomical experience. Even if you are not hungry, it is worth just taking a leisurely stroll through the aisles

Mercato Centrale
Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy

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2018-12-18T23:25:01+00:00July 13th, 2011|Categories: Europe, FOOD, Italy, TRAVEL|Tags: , |


  1. Honey B. July 13, 2011 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Wow…that looks a-ma-zing! Going to Italy is on my bucket list, to visit family and to experience the food!

    • Annette Renee White July 13, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

      Italy is definitely a must-see! I will be having many upcoming Northern Italy posts, so stay tuned…
      By the way, your blog is very cute!

  2. Simply Paul July 14, 2011 at 3:14 am - Reply

    I love these types of food and I just wouldn't know where to start at a market like this. Pure food heaven! Maybe I should add this to my list.

  3. Stefanie July 14, 2011 at 6:40 am - Reply

    Dang! I wish I had known about this place before I went to Florence last fall! Everything looks delicious.

  4. carola July 14, 2011 at 8:17 am - Reply

    I'm hungry already! 

  5. […] loading up on the essential focaccia carbs at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Peter and I headed to the Duomo, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori. A so-called […]

  6. Scaling the 463 Stairs of the Florence Duomo in Italy January 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    […] loading up on the essential focaccia carbs at the Mercato Centrale , Peter and I headed to the Florence Duomo, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori. A so-called […]

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