The Central Food Market in Livorno
Livorno's Central Market - Il Mercato Centrale - is one of the highlights on any visit to the city. The huge building towers over the main canal on the Scali Saffi and is easily reached from Piazza Cavour. It dates from the late-19th century and was designed by Angiolo Badaloni who was probably inspired by Parisian architecture of the same period.
The market is open every morning from Monday to Saturday (8am-1pm) and is well worth a visit. For a trial period from February to May 2015, the market will also be open in the afternoons until 7pm on the first Wednesday and following Friday of each month.
Five entrances lead into the main food hall where 34 shops and 230 stalls sell meat, eggs, poultry, ham, cheese, bread, wine, and a whole variety of intriguing foodstuffs.
There are two adjoining smaller halls, one dedicated to fresh fish and the other to fruit and vegetables. The aroma of freshly ground coffee is often the first to reach you from one of the coffee stalls.
Visit one of the bars inside the market for an Italian coffee and pastry for breakfast, shop for picnic supplies, or just wander around absorbing the lively atmosphere and gazing at the enormous range of produce on sale.
Alongside the market building, on Via Buontalenti, is the central clothes market and adjoining that, in Piazza Cavallotti, Livorno's lively outdoor fruit and vegetable market.