Livorno's Central Market - Il Mercato Centrale or Mercato delle Vettovaglie as it is traditionally known - is one of the highlights on any visit to the city. The huge building, one of the oldest markets in Europe, stands majestically over the main canal on the Scali Saffi and is easily reached from Piazza Cavour and Piazza della Repubblica. 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-2pm), and is well worth a visit. On Fridays and Saturdays it is also open in the evening (6-11pm) when food and entertainment are available at the Alle Vettovaglie
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.
Public toilets are available inside the market.