Il Mercatino Francese Belle Epoque: French Market in Florence, Italy

Saturday, September 24, 2016

When I heard that a 1800s "Belle Epoque" French market was coming to Florence I was so excited. I couldn't wait to take a look at all of the cute stalls, not to mention try all of the buttery French pastries - pains au chocolat and croissants yum. The Belle Epoque in France was at the end of the 19th Century up until the beginning of World War One and was symbolic of the country's economic prosperity and technological and scientific discoveries. It is generally seen as a time characterised by joie de vivre (joy of living) compared to the hardships that people experienced once WWI broke out - just think Moulin Rouge era!

The market is taking place in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, right next to Florence's main train station and is running until the 2nd of October every day from 10am until 12pm. It's free to go to so make sure to visit it if you're in Florence, you won't regret it! Expect champagne, wine, soaps, perfumes, cheeses, PASTRIES, and other lovely food items (baguettes of course).

We headed down there on Sunday last weekend and unfortunately, as you know if you live in Florence or have visited recently, summer had officially passed and we had entered a sad few weeks of miserable weather. Thankfully the weather has started to pick up now though and today it's a glorious 26 degrees. I say miserable but honestly in comparison to the UK it's still so warm. just a little rainy and I cannot begin to tell you how many people in Italy have told me that a) the weather in England is horrible and b) asked if it rains all the time - it doesn't! Anyhow we still enjoyed the market, despite the rain and the fact that I only had 5 euros in cash so I couldn't eat my body weight in pastries. The stalls were absolutely adorable and très français. Even the people working there were French and I wasn't sure whether I should speak French or Italian to them so instead of trying either one of them English just came out (great logic Alexandra.)
It was a rainy, rainy day 

Look at these tiny little marshmallow puffs covered in chocolate and various toppings called têtes au choco, how cute! Apparently they used to be/still are called tête-de-nègre or negros kiss in many languages which I find a little weird and has been phased out because of the obvious racist tones. 

I am definitely going to come back to this market before it leaves to pick up some pastries, baguettes, cheeses and maybe some other wonderful French foods for brunch this weekend. Strolling through the market stalls literally made me so excited for the continuation of my year abroad in Paris starting this January. I literally cannot believe that I have already been in Florence for two months and that I only have another two left aaaah!! I know that I keep saying it but it just seems impossible, so until then I will have to make sure to enjoy all that Florence has to offer (including it's food hehe). 
Alexandra x

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