Andrea Bigiarini
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"Mercato Centrale" (Central Market) - Florence.

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Florence's bustling Central Market (better known in Florence as the "Mercato Centrale") is a fascinating place to visit, especially for foodies.

Located in a towering cast-iron building dating from 1874, its entrances are often obscured by the stalls of the San Lorenzo market that line the streets outside (the San Lorenzo stalls feature crafts, leather, clothing, shoes, souvenirs, etc.).

Inside the market are myriad vendors dedicated to the primary ingredients of Tuscan cuisine. On the ground floor you will find butchers of all types, with everything from pig's feet to whole chickens with their heads and feet still on, to giant, milky-white sheets of tripe, rabbits, wild boar, steaks, sausages, etc. You will also find gastronomie offering cheeses, cured meats, olives and other delicatessen fare, as well as stalls selling bread, pasta, wine and other grocery items.

Photos: Andrea Bigiarini