The small but important Piazza dei Ciompi in the Santa Croce area had hosted one of the oldest flea markets and antique shops in Florence for decades. Place of honor has always been the Loggia del Pesce which was reassembled here after being taken down from Piazza della Repubblica in the 1860s. It was just renovated a few years ago, but at that point it was more evident that the rest of the square was in dire need of some upkeep. The antiques shops were closed down and moved to Piazza Annigoni, right across from the San Ambrogio market, in temporary tarp stands not ideal but the solution was short term (even if they have been there for about 2 years).
Over the last two months we noticed movement on the piazza and were wondering what the project is for the piazza – and we finally have some news to share!
The city of Florence has shared plans for the piazza, saying it will be mainly a garden area to bring some green to the area. We agree some public green areas are needed here in the area, since the area does not have many parks (the main one is in Piazza d’Azeglio).
The market stands will return but in a mobile fashion to be setup along the perimeter of the square, whether weekly or monthly has not been determined yet other than there will be no food products. The idea is to actually set up permanent stands for the flea market in Piazza Annigoni and create a market area that spreads out between Piazza dei Ciomi and that piazza, with the food market at San Ambrogio in between. The idea is to make Piazza dei Ciompi more open and welcoming to residents, particularly with the garden area at the center.
The project for the garden will make it gated, with 3 entrances – 2 by the Loggia del Pesce end and one at the opposite end, facing the Gratta garden where a playground is located. This is to close the garden at night and prevent vandalism that tends to occur in the city gardens. The enclosing will be half stone, with steel fencing on the upper part.
Work on the piazza started last April and while digging found artifacts from the end of the 14th and start of the 15th centuries, as well as walls, pavements in terracotta and several wells from the start of the 1900s. While these have been removed, the city plans to share more information on the finds and history of the piazza by installing a sign with some details and a website you can access to read more detailed information.
The streets of Borgo Allegri and Via Buonarroti that surround the piazza will also be redone as part of the project. Dates of completion were not shared on the news page, a tactic used to give themselves all the time that they need.
Loggia del Pesce photo in header Sailko CC BY-SA 3.0