Sant’Ambrogio is definitely one of the most liveable neighborhoods in the city. From this district it’s only a ten-minute walk to all the major monuments, squares and museums of the city. And yet, due to its location just outside of the most heavily-touristed areas – it hasn’t been overrun by mass tourism.
Along the streets of Sant’Ambrogio it’s still possible to meet many ‘real Florentines‘ – walking, shopping or simply chatting on the stairs of a church, on a park bench, in a market, or amidst the narrow streets. Almost all of the area’s streets are closed to traffic and this makes the district even more attractive for both tourists and residents. One of the most representative monuments of the district is the beautiful synagogue located in Via Farini, built in 1882 by Florence’s Jewish community. Also interesting is the simple and harmonious Sant’Ambrogio Church, located in the most lively square and representing the heart of the district.
Sant’Ambrogio is especially well-known among Florentines for its indoor and outdoor daily markets. Every morning in Piazza Ghiberti the ‘Sant’Ambrogio’ market is held, a great alternative to local supermarkets (both in terms of quality and prices), where you can find typical cheeses and meats, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as articles of clothing, whilst immersed in the very characteristic atmosphere of an authentic Italian market.
In Piazza dei Ciompi (100 meters from Piazza Ghiberti) the flea market is held (open daily except Sunday and Monday in winter) where it’s possible to find all kinds of unusual antiques and collectibles at budget prices. And in this same square, on the last Sunday of every month, there’s a high-quality (with prices to match!) ‘Antique Market‘ that is very interesting to visit, even if only to browse.
The entire district is characterized by a long antiques tradition and, walking through the streets of Sant’Ambrogio, you’ll be surprised by the quantity of beautiful antiquarian shops located on every corner.
NIGHTLIFE – Sant’Ambrogio is famous among Florentines for the quality of its restaurants (Cibreo, Giova, etc), pizzerias (Santarpia, Il Pizzaiuolo), and for the presence of very cool and trendy bars like Caffé Sant’Ambrogio (a great place to meet friends for coffee or a cocktail or linger while studying), YAG (a hip local gay bar) and Bar Le Murate (Set in the open space of a former women’s prison. Absolutely to visit. Open only in spring and summer).
A special mention must also be made for the local cafés: Café Cibreo and Café Piansa have been ranked amongst the Top Ten Italian Cafés thanks to their excellent coffee.
BARS: CAFFE’ SANT’AMBROGIO, LE MURATE, REX, BITTER BAR, I MACCI
RESTAURANTS: CIBREO, I MACCI, IL GIOVA, LA DROGHERIA, L’ORTONE.
PIZZERIAS: IL PIZZAIUOLO, SANTARPIA, CUCINERIA LA MATTONAIA
WINE BARS: VINERIA SONORA
TEA BARS: MAGO MERLINO