lunedì 14 novembre 2011

Around Florence - Sant’Ambrogio

By Paige Gherardi

Inside Mercato Sant'Ambrogio
Sant’Ambrogio is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Florence. Located just before Piazza Beccaria and still in the historic center, this area continues to be one of the hotspots for shopping, dining, and aperitivo. It is also less touristy than other parts of the historic center, so you will find more locals at the cafés and restaurants.


This neighborhood wakes up early with the noises of trucks and people setting up their stands for the daily market. Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti is home to Mercato Sant’Ambrogio, an authentic Florentine market open from Monday – Saturday from 7 AM until 2 PM. The main building has several butcher shops, a fish shop, cheese shops, a couple bakery stands, a small trattoria with daily specials, and a typical Italian café. The stands outside are full of fruit and vegetable vendors and there are also several clothing, jewelry, and household item vendors. This can be a one-stop shop for almost anything you need on your grocery list. Aside from the market there are also many restaurants surrounding Piazza Ghiberti like Semolina and Acasamia. During the summer you will find an outdoor restaurant and bar that has live music and dancing nightly.

Other noteworthy streets in the Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood are Via Pietrapiana, Borgo La Croce, and Via de’ Macci.

Outside at Caffè Sant'Ambrogio
  • Via Pietrapiana stretches from Via Giuseppe Verdi to Piazza Sant’Ambrogio and is full of small shops, cafés, bars, and even an antique market. This street is always bustling with people during the evening, especially if you go by Caffè Sant’Ambrogio – known for one of Florence’s most popular aperitivos.

  • Borgo La Croce starts where Pietrapiana ends at the church in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio and extends to Piazza Beccaria. Here you will find restaurants Le Campane and Il Giova and lots of boutiques. Once in Piazza Beccaria, take note of the Astra movie theater and Kitsch – another great place for aperitivo.  

  • Via de’ Macci starts at Piazza Sant’Ambrogio and heads toward Santa Croce. It is home to Cibreò, Il Pizzaiuolo, and the dinner theater Teatro del Sale. You will also find a Tuscan specialty shop that sells pastas, sauces, and wine. A unique thing about this shop is that they have large casks of wine that they put into bottles for you. Wine starts at about €3 euros per bottle and if you bring your own bottle it costs less. They have a great selection of Tuscan wines at low prices. 

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