The central market was once the main shopping center in Florence for fresh foods but as supermarkets sprang up and more people had cars, the market became less important. Recently foreign immigrants, tourists, and a renewed interest in fresh, local foods have helped the market stay busy.
Even if you don't want to buy anything, it's worth taking a look around the market. You may see foods you've never seen in a market before, like several kinds of cow stomachs and intestines at the Tripperia. There are stands selling all kinds of fowl, meats (including wild boar), and fish.
Of interest to the tourist are shops selling local Tuscan products including wine, biscotti, cheeses, and salami. One of Florence's best known delicatessens is Perini (shown in the picture) where you can taste samples and stock up on picnic items.
If you're hungry and an adventurous eater, stop by Nerbone for an inexpensive lampredotto (cow's stomach) sandwich, a specialty of Florence.
Next, we'll walk across the river for lunch at an inexpensive trattoria. Walk down Via Sant Antonino toward the train station. Along the street watch for La Norcineria (at number 19), an interesting store specializing in pork products. Turn right toward the station, continue in front of the station on the road that curves to the left and heads to Ponte Vespucci, the bridge you'll take to cross the river.