Piazza San Lorenzo is such full of multiethnic and colorful stand that sometimes is even hard to see the huge building of the Central Market.
The Square is not always been like now: is the result of urban reorganization occurred in 1866 , in view of Florence as capital of Italy that would bring luster and shine to the streets of the city. The construction of the Central Market was the first initiative promoted by the city in the second half of the XIX; in the 1864 was deliberate removal of the old market called “a fat smelly swelling in the heart of the city” and more markets were placed in three different districts ,the central one in San Lorenzo and two peripheral: Sant' Ambrogio and San Frediano where all the activities would have been transported till the end of the work. San Lorenzo market was realised with the new industrial technology born in England and later used all around Europe and even in Italy.
The project of the architect Mengoni was inspired by the construction of "Les Halles " Parisian , made by Baltard in iron and glass . The affinities are evident not only from the architectural language but also from the modular bays Sales inside the building without loosing the florentine tradition .The central market was opened for the first time to the public with the Great Exhibition of Horticulture of May 1874 in the presence of the King himself.The structure provided the most modern facilities for the sellers, from ice- placed in the basement to the distribution of workshops with accessible stairs and in a second time was created a shelter outside where to place the merchants who needed to light fires.A kind of “street food” is always been present in Florence because even in that time you could taste many and different food: for few money you could eat the “roventi” ( animal entrails), “gnocchi”, fish from Arno river, codfish and many other things.Even today the market is still like the traditional one and it offers you a lot of different products and you have just to choose what do you wanna eat between all the choices that you have.