San Lorenzo District
San Lorenzo, for Florentines, is synonymous of 'market'. This is actually the biggest open -air market in town and quite crowded all day long with tourists shopping leather items or souvenirs and locals going grocery shopping at the central food market. Obviously the name 'San Lorenzo' comes from the beautiful Basilica of San Lorenzo, with its humble facade and staircase.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo was consecrated in 393 and it is the oldest church in the city. The present building dates to 1423 and was designed and built by Brunelleschi. Behind the church is the entrance to the Cappelle Medicee (the Medicean Chapels, these are a precious tombs which preserve the Medici family remains, the Mausoleum of the big Medici family). Do not miss the Laurenziana Library with the famous staircase by Leonardo da Vinci, entrance located next to the San Lorenzo Church entrance.
In this colourful and noisy area , where both shops and the San Lorenzo Market are located it's possible to find a wide choice of leather jackets and bags, leather apparel of reasonably good quality and at reasonable prices. Even if you do not plan to do any shopping, we suggest that you visit the market all the same, just to enjoy browsing. Naturally, watch out for pick pocketing here! Keep your bags closed and under control. Do not buy counterfeit designer items as you may get a heavy fine.
Just behind the open market, in the large grey, green and red building, is the main daily indoor market of the city, the Mercato Centrale of San Lorenzo, where every morning (except on Sundays) you can find excellent food products (fruits, vegetables, typical local cheeses and meats) at good prices, as well as several food corners to stop for a quick, high-quality and low-cost lunch, immersed in the beautiful atmosphere of an ancient city market. If you are into meat and curious enough try the lampredotto sandwich or tripe, really delicious and typical Florentine! In case you are more of the vegetarian type, try ribollita or pappa al pomodoro!
CURIOSITY: San Lorenzo District is also the home of Pinocchio's father, Carlo Lorenzini also called Collodi(named after the mother's hometown), author of 'The Adventures of Pinocchio'. In Via Taddea, 21 you can see an engraved marble sign indicating his natal home.