Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Florence Day 9: Mercato Centrale

In between exploring the Duomo and San Lorenzo on Tuesday, we took a lunch break to explore Mercato Centrale, Florence's central market. Endlessly interesting, packed with produce and meats, pastries, olive oils, honey, fish, cheeses, anything you can think of. I love experiencing this kind of place in a foreign country--the colors and smells, the fascinating people and products.

This vendor had a striking variety of honey flavors available to sample and buy--from acacia (very light) to melata (honeydew, very dark). We bought a couple of little jars to take home and compare.

The second story of Mercato Centrale is the most overwhelming food court you've ever seen. So. Many. Choices. 

We finally settled on La Pasta Fresca:

Steve got ravioli ripieni di burrata con pomodorini (ravioli stuffed with a soft cheese and served with little tomatoes):

I ordered linguine al pesto con patate e fagiolini. It definitely seemed strange to eat green beans and potatoes in my pasta, but it was delicious.

After leaving Mercato Centrale, we walked through the chaos of the open-air market (mostly leather and clothing) outside--you can see San Lorenzo in the distance. 


Florence is well-known for its leather goods (I'm still kicking myself for not buying a belt while we were there!) and we found sellers hawking handbags and belts *everywhere*. Here's another collection of them at Mercato Nuovo, Florence's "New Market"--and by "new" they mean 1551.


We also did a little wine shopping--wine in Italy is crazy-cheap compared to here, and Steve wanted to bring back a few bottles. Since we've been home, Steve has been amazed at how a glass of Chianti Classico or a Super Tuscan, with their specific flavors and smells, take him right back to our trip :)


emily said...

This reminded me that I bought a leather belt in Florence! Great memory. :)

Danielle said...

I love markets! I'm sure an Italian one is simply splendid!