There are many things that come to our minds when we think of Florence. Brunelleschi, the Ponte Vecchio, prosciutto, wine, Michelangelo’s David, Gucci, vintage markets – especially the vintage markets. In fact, the entire shopping scene in Florence is a fashion student’s dream. In Oltrarno, I have been able to find the dreamiest vintage stores and open markets. The Mercato di Santo Spirito, just a few streets away from home and the Ponte Vecchio, has become a personal favorite of mine. Here you’ll find locals and, thankfully, a very small amount of tourists, perusing through the second hand clothing stands (which are many), the vintage books of Pinocchio and Donatello, record shops (usually where the younger crowd gathers), paintings, jewelry, and so on. By the end of my study abroad, I’ll be able to include“enhanced bargaining skills” on my résumé.
Before moving, many of my family members told me that I was going to come back home five pounds lighter, since Italy is known for its natural produce. They failed to mention the numbers of pasticcerie that crowd the streets, displaying the freshly made tiramisu on their windows; the gigantic gummy stands at the mercato, selling every kind of gummy candy you ate as a child; and the entire idea of “aperitivo:” pay for your €6 drink and help yourself to the elaborate, all-you-can-eat buffet. I am doing everything but losing weight here.
But for the days I feel the need to maintain a healthy skin complexion, I visit my favorite green market stand – Mauro Frutta Primizie. The photo below says it all.
It’s, actually, not very hard to feel at home here in Florence. With just a walk down Piazza della Repubblica on Thursday mornings to pick out fresh flowers for my apartment, one ought to be immediately content. I’ve noticed it’s the little things that make Florence so warm and homey. It is easy to tell why Italians are so welcoming.
Thank you for reading!