I love how Florence is constantly changing. One day a piazza is empty and the next day a mercato (market) has taken up the entire space. I was just in Piazza di Santa Croce a few weeks ago and it was empty. But when I walked down via dei Bentaccordi and looked down Borgo dei Greci the other day, I saw that the annual Mercato di Natale (Christmas Market) had arrived. In the US, I know Christmas is right around the corner when all the sales are launched right after Thanksgiving, but here in Florence, it's this mercato.
Today after having a coffee with a girlfriend whose visiting from the States, I walked over to Piazza Santa Croce to take a look at the mercato. I love perusing the bancarelle (stands), selling Christmas trinkets, German and French food, clothes, scarves, slippers, and much more, but today it was too busy for me to enjoy it.
I walked around the mercato and not through it because the paths inside were too crowded. I saw scores of people mulling around the bancarelle. I headed up the church steps and looked out at the mercato. I enjoyed the view even though the sky was grey and it was colder than I had expected. I especially liked seeing Palazzo Vecchio's tower hovering over the buildings in the piazza. I left quickly after taking some foto (photos) of the mercato.
I look forward to perusing the bancarelle at the Mercato di Natale, which will be in Piazza Santa Croce until December 20th. I'll probably head back there a few times during the week when there are fewer people. This mercato is certainly one of the changes I love to see in my beloved city at this time of year just like the lights they've strung up between many of the streets in centro (downtown).
After living in Florence these past few years, I have come to appreciate the changes that happen all year. Not just seasons, but also events that come in and out of the city. I love walking down streets and certain areas to see that something has changed. It makes me appreciate my city even more and reminds me that I always have to keep my eyes open to notice them.
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