Monthly Markets: The Florence Flower Market

It’s my favorite time again. Time to talk markets in Florence. In our posts thus far, we have covered the large monthly markets in the city. For those of you who can’t plan a journey around the second or fourth or whatever Sunday of a given month, we have a solution: weekly markets! Going forward, we will be highlighting some of Florence’s best weekly markets. Unlike the monthly markets, which tend to be during the weekends, most of the weekly markets fall on weekdays. For those of you whose schedule will permit a visit to one or more of these, I highly recommend it! These market “staples” are some of my favorite weekday activities. Although, word to the wise, those who can’t resist trinkets and treasures when they are sold in outdoor market form, may want to get in the habit of leaving their wallets at home.
Considering today is the first of April and the sun is shining outside, the Florence Flower market seems an especially appropriate start to this series. This particular weekly market falls on Thursdays and, as the name indicates, specializes in one thing: flowers & plants.flower_market Continue reading…

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Monthly Markets: Ciompi Antique Fair

Hello all you market lovers! We are coming to the final Sunday of the month and this means I need to discuss my neighborhood antique market in Piazza dei Ciompi (near Piazza Ambrogio on the northeast side of Florence). This wonderful little nook of the city is not on the standard itineraries of Florence, but should be! Besides having an interesting history (to be discussed below), this little piazza is home to a permanent antique/flea market open Monday through Saturday. Should your schedule not permit you to stay in the city for one of the regular monthly markets, this piazza is full of treasures and trinkets to satisfy any market lover’s thirst for the old and/or the odd.antique_florenceIf, however, you can work it into your schedule, on the last Sunday of month the market doubles in size and draws antique sellers from all over Tuscany for the day. Though the products are similar to those you find at the Fortezza da Basso antique market, this is much more centrally located. Piazza dei Ciompi is also situated among a slew of places to eat, drink and enjoy your Sunday along with a side of window (or real) shopping. It is my favorite place to go to convince myself to buy the various items I think I need, but clearly don’t. For example, those vintage snowshoes from the 1940s that look like they were designed by someone as mad as Leonardo. Yes, I need those. You never know when a blizzard could hit Florence. Have you seen my photos of last year’s blizzard in Rome? I want to be ready this time and the Ciompi antique market is here to help.
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Monthly Markets: La Fierucola (Organic) Market

Welcome to our latest installment of Florence’s Monthly Markets! This is a particularly exciting entry because this may be – nay, it IS – my favorite market in Florence. I mean, I try and get friends to plan trips around being here for the third week of the month simply to partake in this joyous event. Clearly, I am partial.
 
For this month’s post, we are returning to the lovely piazza of Santo Spirito, where, on the 3rd Sunday of the month, the so-called Fierucola Market takes place. Also known (ummm…by me) as the “organic market,” their official website describes the offerings as falling into the categories of “organic farming on a small scale, manual crafts, and ‘common’ life.” Yes, yes, and perhaps something got lost in the translation on that last one. Either way, I’m in. Tell me more.
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Monthly Markets: Santo Spirito


If you’re like me, you’ll agree that one of the best ways to get to know a city is through its local markets. Here in Florence we enjoy not only daily food markets at the Central Market and Sant’Ambrogio Market, but also monthly and annual markets in various piazzas around the city.
 
One of the ways I measure my month is by which Sunday market is taking place. I am always sad to miss it, or as happens on the first Sunday of the month, there is none at all. It is my favorite way to buy anything from food, to gifts, even shoes and housewares. In Florence, anything you need, you can find at a market and usually for a great price. What are you looking for or what mood are you in? In this blog series I will introduce you to all of my favorite markets in Florence and give you a taste of what to expect so you can pick and chose which will become part of your monthly schedule. Continue reading…

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Renzi & Le Cascine: Greenspace in Florence

It’s a fact. Florence lacks green space. Aside from the banks of the Arno and a handful of piazzas on the outskirts, there are hardly any trees to be found in the historic city center. I almost didn’t notice until well into my first year in Florence. Perhaps I was used to this void, having moved from another urban center (New York), or maybe I was just so distracted by the city’s stunning beauty (albeit of the less animate variety). I think it hit me when the urge for a picnic first took hold and I suddenly found myself at a complete loss for where to go to enjoy some grassy solitude within walking distance.

There are, of course, the Boboli gardens, but without the Amici degli Uffizi card you’re looking at 10 euros just to enjoy their shady trees for a day. Even the small park along the southern side of the Arno (just past Ponte alle Grazie) known as La Spiagga (the “beach”), can be a little less than inviting after a Friday or Saturday night. A bus ticket to Fiesole or Pratolino can help you feel more immersed in nature, but seems excessively far just to hear the sound of leaves rustling. Continue reading…

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