The best flea markets and food markets in Florence
Strolling through a market is one of the joys of visiting a new city. Sights, sounds, and tastes mingle with the opportunity to meet locals from fellow shoppers to sellers as you fall into the rhythm of daily life. Florence abounds with these opportunities from antique markets to historic food halls to casual flea markets and leather markets. The problem can be how to find them and to know when they are (most likely) to be open. We’ve got you covered with this guide to the Markets of Florence!
Food markets in Florence
Mercato Centrale in San LorenzoMonday-Friday 7am-2pm / Saturday 7am-5pm
Piazza del Mercato Centrale
This 19th century covered market is certainly the most famous food market in Florence. On the first floor you’ll find innumerable vendors selling fresh produce that are often used by local restaurants and even gelaterie (like My Sugar). It’s easy to get turned around in here but don’t stop until you find the cantucci stall, offering an infinite variety of these traditional crunchy Italian cookies. Upstairs you’ll find the food court. Sleek and modern, you can find everything here from pizzas to Chinese dumplings to hamburgers. If you’re trying to satisfy everyone in the family with a different dish, the San Lorenzo food court does the trick!
Sant’Ambrogio Food MarketMonday-Saturday 7am-2pm
This food market, located ever so slightly further afield than the San Lorenzo food market, attracts a more local crowd and has managed to maintain its authentic vibe. You’ll find fresh produce on display both inside and spilling out in front of the market itself, fresh meats, cheeses, and of course, Florentines picking up fresh groceries and household necessities for the week ahead. Come here for a taste of the real Florence.
Vintage and Antiques markets in Florence
San Lorenzo Outdoor leather marketOpen every day except Sundays and Mondays
Around the Piazza del Mercato Centrale
If you’re on your way to the Mercato Centrale, you can’t miss the outdoor leather market that sets up camp every day in the surrounding streets. You’ll find yourself walking through corridors of leather stalls lining the roads that offer leather jackets, bags, belts, wallets, scarves and other souvenirs. The sourcing and manufacture of these pieces can’t be guaranteed so I’d head here for when you want to find a lower priced leather item in Florence. If you linger for even a second, a seller will jump out of the wings and start trying to make a sale so get ready to haggle!
The Best Leather Markets And Artisan Leather Shops In Florence
Mercato delle Pulci (Flea Market)Monday-Saturday 9am-7.30pm
An antique lovers paradise, this market was located for decades in the Piazza dei Ciompi but in 2019 it officially was moved to its new home: a sleek, modern glass and steel structure in Largo Annigoni right behind the Sant’Ambrogio Market. The new design means you can enjoy the market even on a rainy day and is well worth a stroll past the collections of clothes, books, antiques, and jewelry amongst other trinkets and knick knacks. If nothing else it’s a walk through more recent Florentine history but is without a doubt a temptation for anyone who loves hunting for treasures.
Mercato del PorcellinoMonday-Sunday 9am-7.30pm
Piazza del Mercato Nuovo
Stopping by this market (also called the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo) is worth it for its historic significance perhaps more than for the touristy items for sale here. This 16th century loggia was built to sell luxury silks and fabrics but it also became a place where debters would be publicly humiliated with an actual spanking (no joke!) in the center of the square where you can still find a star to mark the “stone of shame.” The market famous for the bronze boar statue (the “porcellino”) that is said to bring good luck if you rub its snout. It was also known as the “Mercato della Paglia” for the straw hats sold here in the 19th century. As for what you can find in the market today: leather goods and souvenirs designed mostly for tourists.
20 Florence Shops That Locals Love
Cascine Market (Mercato delle Cascine)Tuesdays from 7am-2pm / All Sundays in December 8am-6pm / Four Sundays prior to Easter (8am-7.30pm)
Viale Lincoln, Cascine Park
If you find yourself in the large Cascine park on a Tuesday morning, you can’t miss this enormous market that sports hundreds of stalls selling food, clothes, shoes, bags, and household products. Definitely the largest and cheapest market in Florence, you will find absolutely everything here!
Antique Market at Fortezza da BassoThird Weekend of every month (Saturday and Sunday) 9am-7:30pm
Garden of the Fortezza da Basso
This market is a must for antique lovers. Get lost in the innumerable items brought every month from all over Tuscany to be displayed here from collectibles to historical artefacts, furniture, paintings and more. It also can’t be beat for location, set around the pond in the gardens of the 16th century military fortress built for Alessandro De Medici and located near the Florence train station.
The Flower Market in Piazza RepubblicaThursday Mornings, closed July and August
Piazza della Repubblica
This flower market sets up shop under the shining arches of the portico that borders Piazza della Repubblica every Thursday morning. Whether you’d like to pick up some potted plants for your garden or a bouquet for your date, a stroll through this lovely market is a worthy romantic interlude to your day.
Santo Spirito “Arts & Crafts” Flea MarketSecond Sunday of every month 9am – 7pm (closed July and August)
Piazza Santo Spirito
Right in the center of Florence, you can find vintage clothes, antiques, handmade items and more at this monthly market of stalls clustered around the square’s fountain and beside the famed Santo Spirito Church. This is definitely a place where the locals come to look for bargains and to catch up with friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
St. James Thrift Shoplast Wednesday of every month, 9.30am – 11.30am
Via Rucellai, 9
Located in the basement of the St. James Church is a monthly thrift sale where you can find anything your heart desires. Ranging from one euro to 40 euros are shoes, bags, jackets, linens, children’s toys, and more. Joan is one of the church volunteers who helps organize this monthly thrift to bring valuable rare finds at the cheapest price. The sale is open the last Wednesday of every month from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., and is cash only. Some items can even be purchased prior to the sale located on their Facebook page. The best part is all the proceeds are distributed between the St. James Food Bank, the St. James Church, and various charities. Entry tickets are given out starting at 8:30 a.m., free of charge, and their wide selection of items is a shoppers heaven. Don’t miss the next opportunity to shop without breaking the bank.
La Fierucola: Santo Spirito Artisan MarketThird Sunday of every month 9:00am – 7:30pm (closed August)
Piazza Santo Spirito
Located in the same piazza as the Santo Spirito Flea Market, this market is dedicated to organic farming and handmade crafts with a focus on biological and organic products. You’ll find honey, candles and soaps to bread and wine, plus olive oil bowls, spoons and cutting boards alongside jewelry and scarves. It’s a nice place to find an authentic gift to bring home from Italy.
Fiesole Vintage MarketFirst Weekend of the month (Saturday and Sunday)
Piazza Mino da Fiesole
A visit to Fiesole is well worth the short bus ride out of Florence on any day of the month but why not time your visit with the monthly vintage and antique market and make a day of it? Fiesole offers beautiful views back over Florence and the surrounding countryside plus don’t miss a visit to the ancient Roman amphitheater still preserved in the center of the city.