Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mercato di San Lorenzo

People everywhere, "Ciao Bella" can be heard from every booth in site, and the food is splendid! There is a place in Florence called the San Lorenzo market and when anyone is looking to buy high quality leather, even better food, and have an extremlely entertaining afternoon- this is the place to go.

It is located just a few streets behind the Duomo, this market runs for at least a kilometer. There are collapsable stands that come down each night that hold everything from baby Italia sweatshirts to silk ties to hand made leather jackets. All at reasonable prices I might add. Last weekend before Scott, my boyfriend, made his long journey back to the United States I decided to take him to one of Florence's hidden gems. We walked through the market for two days! Of course we came back the second day to explore the food market which is an adventure in itself.

The food market is an enormous two story building filled with stands just like the outdoor 'leather' market. Inside you can find wine tastings, butchers handing out slices of meat and cheese, fresh fish(everything from salmon to sword), fresh chickens(feet and feathers included), fresh meat, fruit, veggies-everything! Just walking around and seeing where all of the best restaurants in Florence come to collect their ingredients and main courses for that very night was something magical!

We visited one butcher, whose picture you can see on the right side of this page, who spoke solely Italian(like everyone else in this market). He felt terrible for making us wait five minutes while he sliced kilos and kilos of meat for a man who must have owned a local store becuase there is no way that amount of meat could be for personal use! So while we waited and continued to hear "Cinque minuti" and "Mi dispiace" over and over again from this kind man, he continuously would slice off an extra piece of salami or prosciutto and send it our way! The prosciutto melted like butter in your mouth. I, with a semester of Italian 101 under my belt and half a semester in Florence, tried to communicate this with him. "Il prosciutto e il burro in il mio lupo", I said. Of course, I am constantly confusing the words 'mouth' and wolf becuase of the Italian good luck saying 'In boco al lupo' meaning 'In the mouth of the wolf'(to which the encouraged party replies 'Crepi!' meaning 'The wolf will die'). So I ended up telling him, "The prosciutto is butter in my wolf." Boy, did he and his female assistant get a kick out of that. She laughed and nodded like she understood. One of my many lost in translation goof-up stories that I will tell for years to come. When this wonderful interaction finally came to an end we had eaten a delicious Salami Piccanti panino with local lettuce and sun-dried tomatoes that were to die for and I had learned a thing or two about giving compliments in Italian!

Going to the market is one of my favorite things to do in Florence and it is something I would do again and again! A girl has to eat(and wear leather) after all! Speaking of eating I am about to head over to the Palazzo Caponi, JMU's school in Florence, to get some work done and grab a delicious pizza from Gusto Pizza right across the street! Mmm... Ciao!

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