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Piazza dei Ciompi

The Square of Antiquarians

Stall in the Flea Market

Bustling Piazza dei Ciompi is named after the wool-workers’ revolt of 1378. In the morning, Florence’s flea market or Mercato delle Pulci takes place here, the best place in town to buy that 1940s radio or outdated ball gown you’ve always wanted. It really comes into its own the last Sunday morning of each month.

One side of the square is graced with the Loggia del Pesce, decorated with terracotta seafood, built by Vasari in 1568 for the fishmongers who originally held forth along the Lungarno degli Archibugieri (most of the fish they sold, the eels and carp were fished directly out of the river) but were forced to move, along with the butchers and their olfactory-offending wares with the construction of the Corridoio Vasariano.

After a few centuries in the Mercato Vecchio, the Loggia del Pesco was dismantled in 1885 when the Mercato Vecchio was in turn demolished, to make way for the Piazza della Repubblica. The salvaged pieces were stored in the San Marco museum until 1955, when the loggia was rebuilt in Piazza dei Ciompi.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Flickr / Creative Commons: AroundTuscany, Flickr / Creative Commons: AroundTuscany)