The amazing part about shopping in Florence is that this Centro Storico, or historic centre, is so small enough that you can visit the whole area and its shops on foot. When it comes to shopping in Italy, the first city that comes to everyone’s mind is Milan as most of them associate Milan as the city of fashion. However, it is the city of Florence that houses the most breath-taking souvenirs and clothing collections in reality.
The experience of shopping in Florence will give one the true glimpse of the country’s high-end quality with amazing designs. Century-old artisans and international designers make the retail scene more appealing. Step into these shops, and you’ll find everything from exquisite bespoke shoes and tailored clothing to jewellery, leather goods, artisan-made perfumes, and hand-bound books.
Santo Spirito and Santa Croce neighbourhoods welcome their guests with shops boasting independent clothing and jewellery boutiques. These markets have unique non-designer finds that are well worth exploring. Whether its quality or just want to pocket something with a story behind it, here are some best places for shopping in Florence.
Housed in a ravishing vaulted space formerly the stables of a grand, Renaissance-era palazzo is a shop that will make you blink and make you miss its entrance. But once you’re through the scanty doorway, you’ll find yourself immersed in an aroma of world-class standard legendary perfumes. Master perfumer Nicola Bianchi started this business in Lucca even before moving to this place in the Santa Croce neighbourhood. This only outlet in Florence has his world-class collections, displayed beautifully in mahogany or glass cabinets and some laid out on antique tables. It’s definitely a feast for the eyes to watch the colourful glass bottles of different shapes with exotic fragrances. Gifting a perfume from this store would be one of the best choices of souvenir or a gift to take back home!
The Mall Firenze
Culture vultures fly to the Uffizi gallery whereas fashionistas flock to The Mall Firenze! This high-end designer outlet, set in the beautiful Tuscan countryside towards the south of Florence, has regular hour-long shuttle buses as well as trains from Santa Maria Novella train station. With well-laid-out wooden walkways, green lawn, and ample of area, the store can get very crowded at peak times (especially during high tourist season and discount offer days). Long lines form outside the most popular shops here, including Prada, Balenciaga and Gucci; but it’s all worth the fuss! If you’re lucky enough you can even bag that pair of Ferragamo shoes for unbelievable rates.
Angela Caputi Giurgiu
Angela Caputi, a costume jewellery store in Florence from 1970s managed to stay true to original artisanal principles, known internationally. The jewellery resins originate in Italy and assembled in the Santo Spirito neighbourhood. The experience shopping here can’t be gained anywhere else.
The late Stefano Bemer started this men’s shoe business in the San Frediano neighbourhood of Florence during 1983. Located in a deconsecrated chapel the brand still continues to keep up Bemer’s quest to create the most perfect and stunning footwear. All shoes are designed in high-quality leathers from all over the world including South African ostrich, Tuscan calfskin, American pony skin, and U.S. alligator. All components like insoles and outsoles, heels and welts, oak shanks and cotton laces are handmade by a team of local artisans.
Il Torchia is a lit Oltrarno workshop that practices the traditional art of bookbinding. You can find albums, photos frames, and other gifts made of Florentine leather, along with handmade marbled papers and canvas. All of these incorporate techniques followed in Florence for centuries. Some of the traditional designs haven’t changed since the 1980s from the time the shop opened. Books have olive wood as the front cover or leather-bound with brightly-coloured elastic bands are some contemporary ones.
Il Bisonte has numerous outlets across the world and the original shop still stands on the same site in the heart of the Florence. The smell of good-quality leather makes you walk into the vaulted rooms, filled with bags and accessories with the iconic bison logo. Gorgeous briefcases and leather travel cases cost between 750 Euros and 850 Euros; women’s shoulder bags cost around 350 Euros. All of them are handmade by artisans in Florence from butter-soft cowhide, and designed to last a lifetime.
Richard Ginori 1735
Ginori in Florence is close to the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella and established from 1802. Firstly, it re-vamped in 2014 when acquired by Gucci. Currently, it’s one of the loveliest stores with nearly 5,400 sq ft of exotic and unique things that will capture your eyes as soon as you enter. Many designs arranged in rooms mimic an elegant home that has changed little over the years. Pieces can be pricey, as one plate in the Paesaggi is about a 1,000 dollars. However, if you visit during occasional sales then you can find items from the factory for ridiculously low prices.
The Florence branch of Eataly is located close to Duomo and offers the very best of Italian food and wine. You visit this place for coffee, lunch, or dinner; for grocery shopping; or for cooking courses along with wine-tasting courses. Above all, it’s a one-stop-shop for great Italian produce, and it’s also a great place to buy gifts and souvenirs. A mezzanine consists of a restaurant starting from potato-stuffed Tortelli to burgers serving all varieties of cuisine. Upstairs, is the restaurant FAC (Fast and Casual) that does good wholesome food quickly. Don’t miss out to buy the traditional Tuscan delicacy like pappardelle which consists of chicken livers, lemon, sage, and braised pork ribs.
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