mercoledì 17 dicembre 2014

A European Christmas in Florence

Florence is a beautiful Italian city, full of art and history but if you arrive there for Christmas you'll find a market with a wide selection of typical products from 19 European countries.
In the setting of the beautiful Piazza Santa Croce with the Church of the same name, there is a very nice Christmas market where you can taste Mulled Wine, Vienna sausages and sauerkraut, Sachertorte, apple strudel but also fragrances from Provence and English pottery.
If you come from Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, France etc. you'll think to be at home!

It's so pleasant walking around the stands full of colors, aromas, delicious food and all of this in one of the most beautiful squares in Florence, in the shade of an important and artistic Church and very close to the Arno river

I like the traditional European Christmas markets so much! I was very happy to find one in the centre of Florence, with its red-and-white stalls selling products I like so much but I cannot easily find in Italy.
Here I could buy: the typical English tea cup, cheddar cheese and the authentic English tea, Austrian hot dog and knödel, lavender fragrance from Provence, Christmas candles from Germany and Mulled Wine typical of central Europe



But, as we are in Italy, you can also buy leather bagschianina meat hamburgers and wooden objects which are typical products of Tuscany.



After a hot-dog and some purchases don't miss a visit to the splendid Church of Santa Croce (tickets € 5,00 - reduced € 3,00). It's very important because famous Italian personalities such as Michelangelo, Rossini Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei are buried here.
There is also a memorial to Dante but it's empty because he is now buried in Ravenna as he was exiled from Florence.
Santa Croce has a great artistic wealth; in the Bardi and Peruzzi Chapels you can admire beautiful frescoes by Giotto.

I suggest you to have a walk along the Arno river until the splendid Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) where you can visit the small shops on the bridge and buy Golden jewellery.
As it's Christmas time you should stroll around the city centre and have a look at the beautiful lights which light up the city to feel the Italian Christmas atmosphere!



There are different kind of markets in Italy. Almost every city has its own where one can buy vegetables and fruit, foodstuffs, clothes, household products.
Italian people love buying at the market because prices are lower than those of the shops or supermarkets so they can spare without giving up to quality. But if you are able to negotiate you can get bigger discounts.
Following some useful words and expressions you'll probably hear if you end up in an Italian market:

bancarella/e (pl)                               stands or stalls           
dare un'occhiata                               to have a glance, a quick look to an object
concorrenza                                      competition    
contrattare il prezzo                         negotiate the price
sconto                                               discount, sale
merce                                               merchandise, goods

prezzi                                               prices

artigianale                                        handmade, hand-built
vendere                                            to sell
comprare                                          to buy
quanto costa/costano?                      How much does that cost? How much do these cost?
a che ora apre il mercato?                At what time does the market open?
a che ora chiude il mercato?             At what time does the market close?
cerca qualcosa?                                 What would you like?
posso aiutarla?                                   Can I help you?

la stanno servendo?                            Are you being served?
vorrei questo                                      I would like this
eccolo                                                 Here it is
ha bisogno di altro?                             Is that all?
vorrei pagare in contanti                     I'd like to pay by cash

cassa                                                    checkout
posso avere un sacchetto per favore?     could I have a carrier bag, please?


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