lunch in Mercato Centrale in Florence

Sep 10th, 2011, 10:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 198
lunch in Mercato Centrale in Florence

Is there anywhere to eat in the Mercato Centrale in Florence? I know a lot of markets here at home have ready made sandwiches or light lunches ready to go. We have 1:15PM reservations at the Accademia and thought we'd have lunch afterwards before going to the Cappelle Medici and Santa Maria Novella. We just want a couple panini or something light. I want to see the market but I'm concerned about running out of time to see the Cappelle and SM Novella. It would be great if we could either eat at the Mercato or pick up something to picnic nearby?

Cpelk is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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There are a few eateries, including the famous Nerbone, which has been mentioned on this forum numerous times; you line up for dishes and then look for a seat at the tables nearby.

The market is open weekdays until about 2pm but some stalls close earlier. So you may need to eat before your Accademia visit. There are plenty of places with pre-made sandwiches throughout the city, if that is what you want.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Sep 10th, 2011, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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hi cindy

because the markets normally operate more in the morning than the afternoon, you would be better doing your trip to the mercato centrale first, grabbing something to eat there [they will be serving from about 12 noon onwards] and then going to the acaademia. That way you won't be rushed going round the museum and thinking about whether or not you are going to find something after 2pm.

alternatively, there is a lovely cafe on the corner of via cavour and piazza san marco [just round the corner from the accademia] worth a visit for the sight of the waitresses hats alone!.

depending on what else you have planned, before you go to the accademia you might like to try to go to the monastery san marco which is also in the piazza of the same name. The frescos of Fra angelico are lovely and the whole monastery is very interesting, but it only opens in the mornings.

you could go onto the medici chapel after the academia; after all that I'm not sure you'd have the time or energy for santa Maria Novella. However, if you want a rest and an excursion at the same time, it is possible to get the bus up to Fiesole from the piazza. it takes about 30 minutes and you get great views of Florence from the square where the bus stops.

there are also the cathedral, the monastery of san francisco and the roman theatre to visit, as well as a restaurant in the middle of the square that is pretty good. a lovely late afternoon/evening trip to round off your day.

have a great trip!
annhig is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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If you want to see the market, why don't you go the market before your Accademia visit and buy food to eat afterwards? There is plenty of great cheese, meat, olives, fruit, veg, bread and wine. Pack an extra plasticized shopping bag in your luggage and some plastic utensils, and when you arrive in Florence, as your hotel where's the nearest place to buy a corkscrew (or pack one of those if you are checking a bag).
zeppole is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Sorry for the typos, and I wanted to add: The best food you will eat in Florence may be from the markets. Most people who go to Italy NEVER eat fresh fruit or fresh veg there, and yet this is some of the most glorious food available in Italy.

I see a lot of people in Italian markets taking pictures of the food -- but why not shop a little and eat? It's fun. And delicious. You don't need to buy a huge hunk of cheese. You can ask for a small piece, and a few ounces of sliced meat. If you don't want wine, water is everywhere.

But it helps to have a plastic knife and fork with you, and a pack of kleenex.
zeppole is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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if you are in the region of santa croce, walk north until you come to the market of san ambrosia - which is full of all the fresh fruit, veg, cheese, meat and pasta you could possibly want, and very few tourists.

there is also a terrific restaurant in the middle serving typical florentine dishes including tripe salad [an acquired taste] at very cheap prices.

you could have a very pleasant morning firstly exploring santa croce, then the market, and finally having lunch in the market restaurant.
annhig is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Thank you all so much. We will definitely get to the Mercato Centrale before the Accademia and spend some time there. We may eat there or purchase food for a picnic later. That is the style of eating that we prefer when we travel. We are not the usual type of foodie in that we don't go to a lot of restaurants but we do like to eat well. We are staying in an apartment in the Oltrano and hope to do some of our own cooking with good fresh ingredients.

Annhig, The suggestion of the Sant Ambrosia market is wonderful. We are planning on going to Santa Croce the following morning and then going to the Boboli Gardens in the afternoon. The S A market is right up our alley!

Cpelk is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Hi cindy,

Actually I don't think that your way of travelling is that different from many people here, lots of whom prefer to rent apartments than to stay in hotels as it enables them to eat well for a lot less!

As you are staying in Oltrano, can I suggest that you look at going to the gardino bardini as well as/instead of the Bobolli? [which somewhat underwhelmed me, to be honest]

Here's the link:

it's a lovely and little visited place, and entry to it also seems to include entry to the Bobolli, which is peculiar as the Bardini cost me €6, and i have a very strong memory of being stung for €8 when we went to the Bobolli on our last visit. there is also mention of a "green corridor" through Oltrarno which would lead one through all the gardens, one after another, though i don't think they've actually done it yet.

My other "Oltarno" suggestion would be to go up to the Piazzale Michaelangelo and after enjoying the stupendous views, walk up to San Miniato del Monte. The interior is very fine, but don't forget to take some change [€1 required i think] to put in the machine to illuminate the mosaics.

Have a great trip!
annhig is offline  

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