MERCATO DI SAN LORENZO -MERCATO CENTRALE
A walk in the local markets, in addition to costing nothing, is always a good idea to get to know a different side of the city, and possibly find small treasures or souvenirs, or in the case of Florence, authentic delicacies, and this kind of things you ca see in a walking free tour in Florence. The most famous in Florence is the San Lorenzo market. Located via dell Ariento, back to the San Lorenzo church. The street Market its very unique with many different products, but the most important product that is possible to find here is leathers. there are many streets carts that are selling: jacket, belt, bags, wallet, and many other items like t-shirts, shirts, linen trousers etc etc.
However the most important and oldest market is Mercato Centrale a grey building with a green roof in the middle of Ariento street. This traditional market for food was made during 1874 by Mengoni architect, the same artist that made the Milan gallery in Milan. This is a very revolutionary market for their time, today is known like the traditional market of Florence. divide inside in two floors the ground where we have the traditional market with butchers, fish markets, pasta makers, vegetable and fruits sellers, and also coffee shops and bars, plus bakery and some restaurants. the most famous and antique is Nerbone restaurateur, that opened hi shop in 1872 and after in 1874 moved inside Mercato di San Lorenzo.
Today her is possible to find typical dishes of the tradition of Florence, like the Trippa, Ribollita, Pappa al Pomodoro, Lesso , Lampredotto, e may others traditional recipes of Florence. the last one Lampredotto it ‘s a traditional recipe that take origin from middle-ages, when riches people were using to eat expansive fish lampara, and the poor people discovered that the forth caw’s stomach has a similar flavor, for that reason the poor citizen, the where using to cook this caw’s part with some vegetables like carrots celery and others, until after several hours was ready were eating in a dish or with some bread.Today after more then seven hundreds years in Florence we are keeping the same recipe from that time until today with the same flavors. If you are not very enthusiastic to try a caw’s stomach we could understand, so it’s possible to try something similar Bollito, that consist not in the stomach, but another part of the cow that is the shoulder and the neck. However here is possible to try other typical product of Florence Like pappa al pomodoro that is bread cooked with tomatoes, or Ribollita that is cabbage with bread and broth.
But the market is more then Nerbone, there are other activity that we are suggesting to explore and try other restaurants inside the market and to see the butcher where are selling very original traditional caw and pork meets parts, like lungs, livers, tongues, etc, etc. This market area is opened from the morning until 2 pm. However is possible to go up-steer with the steers where you find the food court that still opened from 10 am until 12 pm. Here is possible to find many different restaurants where you have the possibility to find almost all the food that you want try in your life. There is a fish restaurant and shop, a butcher that is choking different caw parts like the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina, 2 kg of T-bone steak thick four fingers this is the regular one in town, under it’s considerate a meet filet. But there is something more, like vegan and vegetarian restaurant, place where are making fresh pasta, and pizza in a break oven. Or you can try the mozzarella bar, or daily gelato, or the fresh bakery with typical sandwich and schiacciata bread. or you can find also a cart where are making aranchini, and cannoli siciliani.
SANTA MARIA NOVELLA PHARMACY
The last of our tips on what to see for free in Florence concerns the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, probably the first in the world and certainly the oldest in Italy. It was founded in 1221, when the Dominican monks of the adjacent Basilica of Santa Maria Novella began cultivating aromatic herbs to produce balms, ointments and medicines for their infirmary. The superior quality of their products became widely known and in the 17th century the pharmacy thus opened its doors to the public. Today the pharmacy still uses traditional preparation methods according to the original recipes of the monks. Of particular note is the Vinegar of the Seven Thieves, a mixture of scented salts which takes its name from a gang of seven men who robbed the corpses during the plague, after having immersed them in strong vinegar to protect themselves from the plague, since at the time bad smells, or “miasmas”, were believed to be the cause of the disease.
The pharmacy is housed in the original location in via Della Scala N 16R, whose salt host vault ceilings, decorated golden, frescoes, walnut furniture, glass decanters with colored potions, marble floors, windows, bronze statues, ancient scales and pharmacy mortar. There is also a small museum, with slightly irregular times, which has ancient terracotta pharmacy vessels, but the best antique pieces are already exhibited in the shop itself. The staff will be able to answer questions and provide suggestions according to your preferences, and a large computer display is available to customers, providing information on the offers and the history of each product. It must be said that the prices are quite high, as well as the quality of the goods sold.
Santa Maria Novella pharmacy has several location in all the world , here in Florence not only in via Della Scala N16R but also in via Tormabuoni N 71 and via Roma N2.
PONTE SANTA TRINITA
Santa Trinita bridge one of the best bridge in all Italy the only one made in the renaissance time with a renaissance stile, for this reason is so important for the Florentine, and is something that you have the possibility to see for free.
Its history is very long was tarted in the middle age like the fourth bridge of Florence, was made the first time from a merchant Lamberto Frescobaldi to connect the two side of Florence in the 1252. The first bridge was made in woods, and this was the problem, But it collapsed after a few years, in 1259 under the weight of the crowd that witnessed a show on the Arno. He was rebuilt in stone, but ceded under the push of the great flood of 1333 that spared only the bridge to graces. The subsequent rebuilding was slow and lasted a fifty years, from 1356 to 1415. The new destruction of 1557, always because of a flood, led to the construction of today’s structure. The design, on behalf of Cosimo I, was by Bartolomeo Ammannati, on the design of Michelangelo , who suggested the modern line of the three arches, referring to his studies, already put into practice in the tombs of the Medici chapels and in the staircase of the vestibule of the Medici Library Laurenziana. This curved line is an innovation that anticipates the fashion of the Baroque and also has an important technical aspect, because it has a significant static resistance; It has the shape of an arc of chain, the upside down version of the figure who draws a chain suspended for its two garments, and which resembles a parable.
The realization took place between 1567 and 1571, in high yellowish brown stone. In addition to the aforementioned line of the arches, the bridge owes its elegance also to support pylons, which have a horizontal section with acute corners to avoid the trunks to remain entangled to the white cartouches on the arches and the four allegorical statues that decorate the Corners and depicting the four seasons: placed in 1608, they are the work of Pietro Francavilla (spring), Taddeo Landini (winter) and Giovanni Caccini (summer and autumn) and celebrated the wedding of Cosimo II with Maria Maddalena of Austria.
Until the first decades of the twentieth century, on 11 November, for the San Martino holiday, on the bridge and on the initial part of the electricity via Maggio the characteristic of the “overflows” was held, the domes made of wooden components used to warm up Or dry clothes or sheets with a warmers. The “Fierucola di San Martino”, animated by the calls of the sellers, was made of small trade and poor craftsmanship. The bridge was destroyed by the Germans in retreat on August 4, 1944. On the idea of the Florentine antiquarian Luigi Bellini was created a committee “as it was and where it was” for its reconstruction, so as to return it to Florence. In 1952 the architect Riccardo Gizdulich was called for the direction of reconstruction works, together with the engineer Emilio Brizzi. The reconstructed bridge was inaugurated on March 16, 1958. A Florentine commercial agent, Giuseppe Fantacci, in 1958 launched an unscrupulous “marketing” campaign to return the head of spring to Florence, one of the statues that stand on the bridge itself. The head had in fact been stolen before the Second World War ended, leaving the mutilated statue. Fantacci’s idea was to involve the company for which he worked – the American Parker, a Penne manufacturer, then with a headquarters in Florence – to promote an initiative, sponsored, in the newspaper La Nazione to find the head of the statue . With the title “Who saw this woman?”, The news came out in the press all over the world. The newspapers of Singapore, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Eritrea, Rodesia, Thailand spoke. The four statues were fished out in the Arno once the war ended, but at first it was not, as previously said, found the head of spring. In the sixties the same antique dealer Bellini took place a announcement promising a reward of 3000 dollars for the discovery of the head, which came eventually found by the “Reniani” in 1961. The disappeared head provided the starting point for the Miracle film in Sant’Anna di Spike Lee (2008).
This bridge is also famous because in the left side coming from piazza Santa Trinita is possible to see the famous Old bridge of Florence. And also if you are coming here during sunset time you have a very unique view of Florence during this time. If are you want see this kind of things in Florence come with us in our Free tour. we are starting our Florence free tour every day from Santa Maria Novella square.