The best markets in Italy

November, 6 2017


Do you enjoy browsing around markets in different countries when you’re on your camping holiday? It definitely contributes to the feeling you’re on holiday, and is a great way to get a feel for whichever city you’re in. Strolling around a colourful market with the different smells and observing all the hustle and bustle. Enjoying the atmosphere, tasting the local delicacies, or searching for the perfect souvenir.

We’ll take you with us around a few markets in Italy. From the lively and ancient fish market at the foot of the Rialto Bridge in Venice, to the indoor Mercato Centrale in Florence with its delectable food court.

Italy’s characteristic passion is on full display in its markets. You’ll feel the energy of the singing and shouting market vendors loudly trying to outbid each other. Watch how fervently they gesture towards their wares and let yourself be seduced into trying and buying their wonderful Italian produce.

Mercato Centrale in Florence

In the centre of Florence you can find any number of atmospheric markets. But an absolute must-visit is the indoor market hall the Mercato Centrale in the colourful San Lorenzo neighbourhood. This beautiful building, constructed from cast iron, glass and metal lets in a huge amount of natural light, which makes the market feel as if it’s out in the open.

This market hall, built in 1874, is frequented by both tourists and locals who come here to do their daily shop. Once you walk inside and discover the beautifully arranged stalls with fresh produce, you’ll understand why Italians like to shop here too. Experience the real Italian holiday feeling by doing your shopping here too, and then making a meal with all of the wonderful local delicacies.

Markets in Italy - Mercato Centrale in Florence

On the ground floor of the Mercato Centrale, you’ll find stalls selling fresh vegetables, fruit in all colours, all sorts of pasta, fish, truffles, pesto, meat, the most delicious cheeses and much much more. Is your mouth watering already, seeing all of these delicious foods? Then head to the top floor of the Mercato Centrale, where you’ll find lots of little restaurants, wine bars, and tasting rooms.

Here you can enjoy delicious wine, fresh pizza, sushi and much more. You’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy at one of the different counters. This food court is open from Monday to Saturday (from 10:00 until midnight). It’s closed on Sundays.

Campsites near Florence:

Desenzano del Garda market

If you’re holidaying around Lake Garda, you really must visit one of the local markets. There are so many near Lake Garda that you can visit a different one every day. One recommendation is the market in the lakeside town of Desenzano del Garda, on the southern side of Lake Garda. This popular city is seen as the capital city of the Lake Garda area, and there’s a great atmosphere here.

Every Tuesday morning from 8:00 to 13:00, the boulevard in the centre of Desenzano del Garda is closed to cars and transformed into a weekly market.

Desenzano del Garda market

Visitors from all over the region come to visit this atmospheric market, which has taken place here since the 15th century. Bargain hunters can choose from a wide variety of products. Whether you’re looking for leather goods, groceries, clothes, or wonderful delicacies, you’ll find it all here!

And once you’ve had enough of looking around the market, you can take a walk through the atmospheric town, with its lovely buildings, nice shops, pretty old harbour, and lively street cafes.

Tip: visit the market early in the morning. Particularly in the summer, it can get very busy, and the market closes around 13:00.

Campsites near Lake Garda:

Market on the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome

A visit to a market should be part of a day of cultural activities in Rome. There are various atmospheric markets that you can visit in Rome – each with the wonderful tastes and smells of the Mediterranean.

Campo de’ Fiori is one of the oldest and most well-known markets in Rome, and takes place on the medieval square of the same name. The name of the market means ‘Field of Flowers’ – though it’s not a flower market as the name might suggest. As well as stalls with colourful scented blooms, there are also stalls with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and other Italian delicacies.

The ancient market retains its authentic character, in spite of the many tourists that visit it. You’ll still see the loud, enthusiastic market vendors here. There’s plenty of negotiating before something is finally bought.

Campo de' Fiori in Rome

Wander through the market, taste the local produce, and surprise yourself with the huge number of different cheeses and sun dried tomatoes on offer here. It’s a good idea to buy Italian herbs at the market. The vendors will be happy to share tips on turning them into a delicious Italian meal. A nice way to surprise your family on your return home!

The market is held from Monday to Saturday, from 7:00 to 13:30. There are lively cafes and restaurants around the square where you can enjoy a delicious pizza or Italian ice cream.

Campsites near Rome:

Fish market in Venice

If you’re visiting Venice, a trip to the important fish market Pescheria is not to be missed.
This fish market, at the foot of the famous Rialto Bridge, has a long history. Fish has been traded here since 1079.

Venice is completely surrounded by water and almost all Venetians love fish. So, it’ll come as no surprise that the fish market gets very crowded. Every Tuesday to Saturday (7:00 to 13:00) you can wander around this market, amongst the stalls selling various fish and seafood. The fish stalls are piled high with fish and shellfish from enormous swordfish, to fresh tuna, to writhing eels. Admire the boxes full of prawns, oysters, mussels and scampi.

Fish market in Venice

If you want to see how the market is supplied with fresh fish, you’ll need to visit early in the morning. It’s wonderful to see the local fishermen walking around with the fresh fish they’ve just caught, ready to sell it to the vendors. It doesn’t get fresher than this! If you visit the market early in the morning, you’ll also find lots of restaurant owners on the lookout for the best fish. It’s a pleasure to watch.

If you like fish, you’ll love this market! What if you don’t like fish? Next to the Pescheria, there’s a colourful fruit and vegetable market where you can buy all sorts of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Campsites near Venice:

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Ronella van der Burgt
  • Auteur: Ronella van der Burgt
  • Ronella loves to discover new towns and cities by taking city trips. Her favourite holiday is one that has a little beach, a little culture, a little architecture and a little gastronomy and she considers Spain and Italy her favourite destinations. She's never afraid to share tips when she finds a great restaurant, beautiful beach or campsite close to a nice town or city.


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