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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Since we were lacking the cucina, we did the next best thing…munched on focaccia for only 2,30 Euros a slice!
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
Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I earn a commission that helps to keep this blog running—at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
You Might Also Enjoy
Florence Bucket List: 40 of the Best Things to Do in Italy’s Top City
Northern Italy Dream: A Stay at a Luxury Farmhouse in Tuscany
Italian Food Bucket List: 50 Best Foods From Italy to Eat
Stay in a Tuscan Villa in Italy
Walk on the Via Dell’Amore Trail in Cinque Terre
Drink a Bellini at Harrys Bar in Venice, Italy
11 Things Restaurants in Italy Do Differently
Scale the 463 Stairs of the Florence Duomo
Things to do in Florence in a Day
Bucket List of 6 Amazing Northern Italy Views
Italian Adapters, Converters & Voltage (AKA: The Flat Iron Dilemma)
10-Day Northern Italy Itinerary