sabato 27 marzo 2010
San Lorenzo Central Market
San Lorenzo Central Market is at about two-three minutes from Mario's Hotel. The building was built some time between 1870 and 1874 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni and it is thought that it was built in part to provide an alternative for those who had shopped in the area around Piazza della Repubblica which at that time in history hosted the City of Florence's major vegetable market. According to history, the area around the Piazza della Repubblica was undergoing a renewal during these years.
It is Europe's largest covered food hall and is a most wonderful stone, iron and glass building. Mengoni is also responsible for Milan's celebrated covered shopping galleries.
It is difficult to appreciate the design of the Mercato though, one can imagine that in its day it probably was quite a site. The building's footprint is quite large and covers at least two blocks. The Mercato offers a huge variety of fresh items: produce of many kinds (from throughout Italy), fresh fruit, flowers, cheese of every imaginable variety, meats (including stewed boar, cow stomach and intestines), fish and seafood, poultry, pastas, dried fruits, porcini, spices, breads, pastries, dry goods, wines and truffles. There are also stands inside where you can have the vendor make you a sandwich and you can sit down at a little table and enjoy the atmosphere.