The Central Market

Florence's central covered food market

The Mercato Centrale of Florence
The grandiose interior of Florence's Mercato Centrale. (Photo by Warburg)
For great picnic pickings—not to mention photo ops—head to Florence's 19th-century covered food market, snuggled behind the outdoor stalls of the San Lorenzo leather market.

It looks a bit like a old grandiose train station inside, all dingy glass and steel struts, but actually was purpose-designed to be a market in 1870–74 by the same guy who did Milan's famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: Giuseppe Mengoni.

The Mercato Centrale is also home to one of Florence's great old-school dining opportunities: Da Nerbone, a corner stall that since 1874 has done a brisk business of feeding hungry market patrons a few basic dishes—most popularly, a panino con bollito—a boiled meat sandwich that's bagnato, dipped quickly into the bubbling vat before being handed over. » more

The Mercato Centrale is open Monday to Friday 7am to 2pm, Saturday 7am to 2pm and 4 to 7:30pm.

Tips & links


The entire block bordered by Via dell'Ariento, Via Sant'Antonino, Via Panicale, and Piazza del Mercato Centrale
tel. +39 055-239-9798


Mon-Fri 7am–2pm
Sat 7am–2pm, 4pm–7pm


Free admission


Bus: 81; C1
Hop-on/hop-off: Indipendenza (A)

How long does Mercato Centrale take?

Planning your day: If you plan to pop in, be sure to do it in the morning, since the market closes at 2pm. If all you want is a picture or two, you can be in and out in 5 or 10 minutes. Stick around to shop (or grab lunch at Da Nerbone), and figure on 45 minutes..

» Florence itineraries

Be sure to grab lunch

Have some lunch—or at least a snack—at the Da Nerbone stall.

Mercato Centrale tours & cooking classes

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