If you want to bring unique gift from Florence to your friends and family, Parmesan cheese is a great option! Parmesan is one of the Italian cheeses with the longest tradition. It is a hard grating cheese and it has a strong taste, so it is usually used grated on spaghetti. Of course, it can be bought even in the other countries, but it will never be as tasty as true Italian Parmesan. Here are the best places to buy it in Florence:
Parmesan can be found in almost every bigger supermarket in Florence. But we suggest you visit either supermarket Coop or Esselunga, because they are part of big chains that guarantee quality and freshness of the products, and they have more convenient prices than small shops. Also, the supermarket staff will be glad to cut and pack the piece of Parmesan in the size you want. Or you can choose from already cut and vacuumed packed pieces of cheese.
There is a Coop supermarket in Via Cimabue. Coop is one of the oldest supermarket chains in Italy, and it is known for the freshness of all its products. Good thing is that it is open until 9 PM every day, except Sunday. It often has special offers and discounts.
Esselunga is very modern chain of supermarkets with a great variety of products. There is one Esselunga supermarket in Via Masaccio, a 10 minute walk from Piazza della Liberta. And there is one Esselunga supermarket located on the other side of the bridge Ponte alla Vittoria in Via Pisana, near Giardino di Villa Strozzi. Esselunga supermarkets are open from 7:30 AM to 9 PM every day, except Sunday. But, it is good to know that Esselunga in Via Massaccio is open even on Sunday from 9 AM to 8 PM, which makes it one of the only supermarkets in Florence that are open on Suday afternoon.
Eataly is famous shop that sells only Italian products of the highest quality. It is located in city center, near the Florence Cathedral, in Via De Martelli. The atmosphere is rustic and elegant, and you will feel as a true Italian. The shop is divided in different sections that sell traditional products such as cheese, wine, desserts and many more things. It is a perfect place for if you want to try something delicious, but also if you want to buy present for someone. They have great choice of cheese, as well as delicious Parmesan cheese. The staff is awesome and they will be happy to give you some recommendations. They offer free tasting of cheese and wine so you can be sure you like it, before you take it home with you. There is also restaurant space where you can relax and enjoy in Italian food. Eataly is open from 10 AM to 10:30 PM, every day except Sunday.
Mercato Sant Ambrogio
If you truly want to experience Italian way of living you should visit a traditional market! Mercato Sant Ambrogio is located near Piazza Ghiberti, in city center. The market is open from 7 AM to 2 PM every day, except Sunday. It is one of the most popular spots in Florence, where both locals and tourists meet to shop, taste new products or simply chat. Most people are actually selling their own home-made products, so this market may be the best place to find something really authentic and healthy. They have great offer of fruit and vegetables, cheese and fish, and of course Parmesan cheese. Vendors are friendly and they will suggest you the best products you have to try. They will also be happy to recommend you some hidden gems of Florence, that only locals know. Mercato Sant Ambrogio is very busy so be prepared that you will need more time if you want to shop here rather than in supermarket, but it is definitely worth it! Mecato Sant Ambrogio is one of the historical sites of Florence, it was opened in 1873, and as such it deserves to be visited.
There is variety of options and all those places offer Parmesan cheese of the highest quality! Just choose the place that suits you the best, according to the available time and location.