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where do you to find a giant (literally, 30-inch wide, 40-inch deep) (and yes, those are official measurements for ‘giant’ things according to this morning’s calculations) tub of gooey gorgonzola cheese?! well, probably any market in italy. or lots of markets in any case. but a really good market to go to is the sant’ambrogio market in florence. besides the giant tubs of gooey gorgonzola cheese, this market on the edges of the city centre holds some kind of real authenticity. it’s a bit rough on the outside, but that’s exactly the point: there’s no fussiness, no pretension, just really good food and the specialists who sell them. it’s great to wander around and just take in sites and sounds and smells; it’s great to spot ‘real’ locals (a rarity in these parts); it’s great to get inspired for a dinner party menu. also, i’ve always loved how wandering around a market and eating all the tasters is basically like having a light, and free, meal.

we start from the outside:

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with the racks of fruit and vegetables

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(so gorgeous looking i needed to insert  2 photos)

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a flower market, as well?!

spoiled for choice.

and then, we make our way up the stairs, to the main indoor market:

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(and put that instagram filter back on pronto)

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mmmmm. chicken.

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mmmmm. beef.

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mmmmmm. handmade ravioli.

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no idea what this crema is used for,

but i want some.

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arancini balls the size of your head.

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nothing like a little coffee to finish off the tour.

if you’re not convinced, well, honestly, that makes me sad. but continue reading up on sant’ambrogio market on this cool blog called florence for free – they rave about it too.

mercato sant’ambrogio

via luigi carlo farini

and around that area.

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