florence’s best markets by neighborhood

We understand that shopping fundamentally flies in the face of our Florence for Free mantra, but you’d miss a major part of Italian culture if you didn’t explore the country’s many open-air markets! Brimming with charming antiques, fresh fruits, and homemade soaps, each bazaar is a feast for the senses. Of course, buying something is not a requirement – but if you can’t resist a souvenir, we completely understand.

Chances are you’ll stumble across one of these markets during a leisurely stroll, but if you’re actively seeking a dose of delightful Italian gems, we’ve got a list here that covers almost every Florentine neighborhood.

NORTH

Farmers’ Market | Fridays, 8am – 2pm | Piazza della Libertà

Local produce, meats, and wines from the hills of Tuscany. Need we say more?

Fiesole Antiques Market | First Saturday and Sunday of the month | Piazza Mino da Fiesole

If you’ve hiked up to this charming hill town or simply hopped the #7 bus, you’ll understand that this picturesque piazza is perfect for hosting an open-air market.

San Lorenzo Market by webeagle12 on Flickr

San Lorenzo Market by webeagle12

DOWNTOWN

Porcellino Market (Mercato Nuovo) | Daily | Loggia del Porcellino

Favorite Italian goods – think scarves and purses – at downtown prices. We also think it’s a great place to wait out a rainstorm.

San Lorenzo Market | Daily | Piazza San Lorenzo

*Attention: This market has been indefinitely moved from Piazza San Lorenzo. Some vendors are still open  in or have moved to Piazza del Mercato Centrale.  The Florentine provides more information.

Arguably Florence’s most famous market. The aisles are filled with salesmen hawking their wares and begging for you to haggle with them. Try as you might to ignore their whistles, the leather goods spilling from their stalls make it difficult to pass through without a trinket or two.

Flower Market | Every Thursday morning from September through June | Piazza della Repubblica

How to improve upon a beautiful city square with gourmet cafes and a merry-go-round? Line it with rows of vibrant flowers! Scoop up a dozen to brighten up you next dinner party.

Mercato Centrale | Daily | Piazza del Mercato Centrale

“As your eyes draw you to the pastries, your nose begs you to sample the spices, and your ears ask to find out what the butcher is shouting about.” Are you hooked yet? Hannah offers the best way to eat for “free” at Florence’s most official food market.

Sant'Ambrogio Market by Eric Parker on Flickr

Sant’Ambrogio Market by Eric Parker

EAST

Sant’Ambrogio Market | Daily | Piazza Ghiberti

The mother of all food markets. Both indoor and outdoor, everything from local produce to gourmet meats and cheeses are up for sale. One of the harder fairs to browse without buying something – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Ciompi Market | Monday thru Saturday & the last Sunday of the month | Piazza dei Ciompi

Vintage junkies, take note: crystal chandeliers, collections of foreign coins, and old maps are only some of the treasures you’ll discover while digging for hand-carved cameos at this visually inspiring fair.

WEST

Antiques Market at the Fortezza da Basso | Third Saturday and Sunday of the month | Fortezza gardens

Your third chance this month to add a little antique flair to your home or wardrobe.

Le Cascine | Tuesdays from 7am to 2pm | Le Cascine Park

A flea and farmers’ market rolled into one. Make sure to enjoy the park after exploring the seemingly endless rows of stalls. It’s the perfect way to walk off the Florentine street-food you might’ve just enjoyed.

Market by rainy city on Flickr

Market by rainy city

OLTRARNO

Santo Spirito Flea Market | Second Sunday of the month | Piazza Santo Spirito

We’ve already mentioned that this piazza is our favorite place to people watch, and all types of lovable characters come out for this monthly event. It’s also a good spot to purchase gently used furniture for your Italian flat.

Lungoungiorno | Second Sunday of the month | Vecchio Conventino

The famous fierucola (see below) teams up with local artists to give customers one-stop shopping for all artisan goods. It’s held in an adorable old convent that aims to be “the heart of artistic crafts in Florence ” – the thought of which makes our hearts skip a beat.

Fierucola | Third Sunday of the month |
 Piazza Santo Spirito

A market fit for foodies! Fierucola roughly translates to “organic,” so you can expect to find the best of the local harvest here. Think rows of artisan vendors offering tastes of homemade honey, fresh veggies, specialty cheeses, and other finely crafted goods.

…This list gives new meaning to “shop til you drop,” don’t you think? Hey, it never hurt to have just a little look-see, so feel free explore some of the best products that Florence has to offer, ladies and gents! And maybe bring a shopping list – just in case.

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9 comments

  1. Thanks for compiling such a useful guide! I can’t wait to go explore more of the fantastic markets in Florence.

    1. you are so welcome emily! we’re psyched you’re following along.

  2. Can you please tell me the date of the june Ciompi antique fair . I am unsure of the date as there are 5 sundays in June and iI have read that it is the last Sun. and also the 4th Sun. Thank you

  3. hi lisa! although we’re having a tough time finding an official ciompi market calendar, we would say it’s safe to assume the last sunday (june 30) of the month – even if it’s the 5th sunday – is the day it would be open. this website also has it listed as june 30, with contact info for the comune di firenze, so we’re thinking it is a safe bet: http://firenze.virgilio.it/eventi/mercato-di-piazza-dei-ciompi_495718_6.

    of course, we don’t want to tell you we’re sure, as anything is possible in italy. but the antiques area is also open monday thru saturday, so we hope there are some windows where you’ll be able to take a stroll through the aisles. we hope this helped!

    1. Thanks so much for your help. If you find out that the date is different, would you please let me know. Also, could you tell me if there are any antique markets on june 23rd that are located within a 45 min. drive of the tuscan area. Thank you, Lisa

      1. we have been (and we’ll keep!) poking around, but unfortunately we can’t find any in tuscany that are definitively the fourth sunday of every month. we found some conflicting information that there could be one that day in cortona (which is about 60-90 minutes away). we’ll keep hunting!

  4. Terri Greenwell · · Reply

    Hannah, Hi, it’s Terri, your neighbor across the street from your parents. We had been back from our trip to Italy when your dad told me about your blog—sorry I didn’t know aboout it before I went to Italy. I thought perhas you would be able to answer this question. In the square close to the apartment in which we stayed (can’t remember the name), within the circle there is a statue that appears to be a woman with a horizontal block (or man?) on her head! Do you by any chance know what the represents. We could never find out.

    1. hi terri! thanks for checking it out our blog per my dad’s rec! sounds like you stayed in the porta romano (which must have been awesome). as for the statue all i know is that it is a modern piece (around 1940’s i think) by an artist named pistoletto. admittedly modern art is not my forte so i am just as hard pressed as you to figure out what is happening here! sorry i couldn’t be more help! hope all is well in the neighborhood and see you around soon!

  5. I am loving your blog and it is extremely useful for helping to plan my upcoming trip to Italy, which will include some time in Florence! Thank you!!

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