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Mercato Centrale, Florence

The flavours of Italy all under one roof

The flavours of Italy all under one roof

Emily Spencer

We decided to go away for a long weekend to Florence in the hope of getting a little bit of sunshine, or at least some slightly warmer weather than currently in Britain. Upon arriving to our apartment late evening we were desperate for some good Italian food. Due to the time we were advised that it may be difficult on a Wednesday evening to get a table at a restaurant and so were recommended the Mercato Centrale food court which is open until midnight.
Only a five minute walk from our apartment, we were delighted to see above the large daytime food market which offers fresh produce, meats, fish and cheese in abundance, holds a 3,000 m2 food court. From the outside of the building it is very unassuming and quiet but upon entering you are hit with the energetic atmosphere of food cooking, hundreds of people chatting and music playing in the background. The open layout is centred around the large bar, with the restaurants/shops around the outside and communal seating in between the two. There is such a selection of eateries, along with cheese, deli, gelato ice cream and wine shops any lover of Italian produce would be satisfied.
After walking past all of the food and contemplating what to order which took quite some consideration, we decided on the steak restaurant whereby the wrap around seating allowed you to watch the food being prepared. Once we placed our order we comfortably sat sipping prosecco enjoying watching the meat being cooked over the flames. As expected the food was brilliant and we were completely full. Wanting to make sure we sampled a little more of what the food court had to offer we managed to just about fit in a salted caramel and tiramisu gelato ice cream from one of the counters which was incredible. It’s almost a shame we didn’t get to experience more of what was available however it definitely gives us another reason to return to beautiful Florence.