Florence is a great place for shopping – from top fashion designer boutiques to flea markets and various local products. So, what should you buy in Florence?
The main street for fashion shopping fans in Florence – Via Tornabuoni, adorned with luxurious palaces that used to belong to the most noble and wealthiest families in Florence. Now most of these palaces have sheltered the shops of world-renowned fashion houses: Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, Armani, Bulgari, Cartier and many others. In the surrounding streets (such as via Strozzi, Via della Vigna Nuova, Via del Parione, Via Roma and Via Calzaiuoli) tourists can also find the stores of other well-known brands.
Florence is a great place to buy valuable antique items. The best places for shopping are the streets Via de’Fossi and Via Maggio, decorated with gleaming windows, favouring of the past. Here you can buy paintings, sculptures, furniture and other objects. In addition, once a year, the Antiques Fair takes place in Florence, attracting thousands of participants from all over Italy. And on the third weekend of every month the Antique Market is organised near Fortezza da Basso, where you can also find a lot of interesting objects.
Florence has been long since famous for its leather goods – handbags, wallets, shoes, gloves, jackets, etc. If you want to buy local products made of leather, you can undoubtedly do that in the San Lorenzo and Mercato di Porcellino markets, the Santa Croce Square and other stores located in the city. Remember that you can always bargain, and also pay by card. If you are particularly interested in leather goods and their manufacturing, there is Scuola del Cuoio near Piazza Santa Croce, where you can see the process of leather treatment.
Gold and silver articles
It is said that the oldest bridge in Florence Ponte Vecchio was dominated by butchers and fish sellers to the mid-sixteenth century. However, after the establishment of Corridoio Vasariano, Duke Cosimo I de’Medici requested to move them to another place and invited goldsmiths instead of butchers. Therefore gold shops have been located on the bridge for more than 400 years. Here you will find a variety of gold jewellery, silver and diamonds.
Local food products
The best places to buy fresh products are Mercato San Lorenzo or Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio. There is also a shop Pegna that is well-known to Florentines, located near the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, where you can buy everything you want. You will not face any difficulties, if you wish to purchase some Tuscan wine or oil – you can find all these goods in the stores scattered in the city centre.
If you want to bring home some fragrant and natural gifts, you will definitely have to check out ‘erboristeria’ that sells natural beauty products. Whereas Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella will impresses you with its interiors, reminding of the 17th century when it was established, and the products sold here will tempt you with the diversity of scents and quality.
Please remember that small shops are usually closed on Sundays and Mondays until 14:00 pm. In August, many of them are simply closed for a several-week vacation.