The square San Lorenzo and the Mercato Centrale

Florence was Italy’s capital city from 1865 to 1870. In order to give a welcome worthy of the King and the Government and its institutions, the old medieval town of Florence was completely redesigned by the architect and urban planner Giuseppe Poggi. Whole neighbourhoods were demolished. New streets and new open spaces (such as the Piazza della Repubblica) were created; but the old heart of Florence, with its Old Market (il Mercato Vecchio) and the Jewish Quarter were demolished.
Mercato_Centrale_Di Vincenzo Pagrandi - Paolo Pierazzini, Pubblico dominio
To turn Florence into a modern city, three markets were created instead of one (the Mercato Nuovo, also known as Mercato della Paglia, is still located under the Loggia del Porcellino). The largest market of the three was built in San Lorenzo.
Giuseppe Mengoni, an architect influenced by the Eiffel Tower and by Les Halles in Paris, designed a large structure, made of cast iron and glass, which still houses the largest outdoor market in the city today.
Several rows of houses were torn down in what was, until then, an old rundown area, in order to create the Piazza del Mercato Centrale, a large outdoor space surrounded by a variety of stalls, shops, taverns, tripe stalls and winemakers.
The market opened in 1874. Its design is mainly made of large light-filtering windows, giving the effect of an open-air market. Even at the present day, Florentines and foreigners stroll down the market alleys and its inner streets. It is a cluster of small shops, selling top quality “made in Tuscany” products and much more.
It is here that Zà Zà purchases its raw materials every day since 1977.