Monthly Markets: Antiques at the Fortress da Basso

Welcomeback to our monthly installment of the best markets in Florence! Last month, we checked out the Santo Spirito Flea Market that takes place in Piazza Santo Spirito on the 2nd Sunday of every month. It kicks off the monthly Sunday markets and is a veritable Smörgåsbord of all the wonderful offerings you will find at a typical Florentine outdoor weekend market. If you missed the post, read up here!
This month, we’ll hone in on one particular market genre (old stuff!) that is the main event on the 3rd Saturday & Sunday antique market at the Fortezza da Basso. Now, this is not to be confused with the smaller and more central antique market that happens at Piazza dei Ciompi on the 4th Sunday of the month (to be covered soon!). The Fortezza market is a bit harder to get to, but is well worth the effort as it is larger, a bit more authentic, better priced, and set in a winning venue: around a small pond in the park next to the huge fortress at the northwest corner of Florence.
Antique Market at the Fortezza da Basso Gardens:antique_market_2 Continue reading…

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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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My favorite Sunday walk in Florence

One of the very best things about Florence is how walkable it is. I never missed my car and the city never felt too large to manage by foot (though a bike is always fun too). Finding little hidden corners was one of my favorite past-times, an activity particularly suited to Sundays when much of the rest of the city was closed.

Below is a map with one of my favorite Sunday walks. It took advantage of some of the hills and hidden back roads so as to avoid crowds and get some new views of the city. Continue reading…

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Things to do PART II: non-churches/museums in Florence

The list continues!! Here you will find some of my favorite things that are NOT churches, monasteries, museums or gardens: Continue reading…

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