Piazza di San Lorenzo
(Italian pronunciation: pyah-tsah  sahn  loh-ren-tsoh)

. . . cross from San Lorenzo are the peddlers of cheap shoes, chiefly for men, hundreds and hundreds of rows of them, and displays of workmen’s aprons and coveralls, hung out, full length, on hangers, like votive offerings, in brown, blue, and white – the colors of Saint Francis and the Madonna. Work and rest, weekday and Sunday, pietra forte and pietra serena make up the Florentine chiaroscuro, and the sense of their interplay, as of sphere and square, explains the unique ability of the Florentines to create cosmic myths in the space of a small chapel or a long poem. The unitary genius of the Florentines, that power of binding expressed in Brunelleschi’s virile membratura, is evidently the product of a small world held in common and full of “common” referents. McCarthy, The Stones of Florence

Mercato San Lorenzo
(frequented by tourists)

Piazza San Lorenzo
Daily: 08:00 to 20:00
view a short movie clip showing the market next to the Church of San Lorenzo
(mov. format - 10 mb)

· Borgo San Lorenzo (site of inexpensive shoe stores) leads from Duomo to Mercato San Lorenzo
· the only Italians here are on their way to Mercato Centrale
· Persian dealers hawking fake Italian products
· bargain, since stated prices are not much cheaper than in stores
· prezzo fisso = fixed price (no haggling)
· items for sale: woolen mufflers, shawls, cashmere-lined gloves, sunglasses, silk ties, bijoux jewelry
· Vuitton and Gucci imitations are poorly made; check seams, linings and leather quality


Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo (frequented by locals)
Piazza del Mercato Centrale
M-Sa, 07:00 to 13:00; 16:00-19:30

· largest covered food market in Europe
· Floor 1: an anatomy lesson (animals and every edible part: tripe, intestines, spleen, brains, liver and tongue)
· Floor 2: fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, salad greens