Florence Travel Guide

Shopping

There are a few places to buy things, from the high-end jewelry stores lining the Ponte Vecchio to some of the most famous shops in the world; Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, Valentino, Prada, Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Buccellati, Frette, as well as many more wonderful shops that aren't yet world famous. Souvenirs related to art and Florence's sights can be found everywhere. Books, leather goods, art handcrafted journals, frames, pencils etc. in that gorgeous Florentine paper with swirls of color and gold are great gifts.

It is increasingly difficult to find bargains, but keen-eyed shoppers can still find good deals on smaller, side streets running off of those above and elsewhere in the center of town. Better stores in/near the city center offer superb leathers at sometimes decent prices...perhaps after some bickering. Goldsmiths on the Ponte Vecchio display beautiful and quality work, but can be very expensive. Shops that are not located in the very centre of the city are significantly cheaper. There are also superb shopping streets, such as the Via Tornabuoni, the Via del Parione, and the Via Maggio. The San Lorenzo market is now largely for tourists. There are also a couple of collections of "outlets" in the suburbs.

Some of the most uniquely Florentine shops and sights can be found in the Oltrarno, which is Florence's "Left Bank" and home to countless generations of artisans. This section of town can be found by crossing "Ponte Vecchio" (the old bridge) or Ponte Trinità from the center. This "undiscovered" Florence is a must-see.

Enoteca MondovinoVia S. Agostino 27-29/RPhone: +39 055 215214Decent wine and Liquor store with interesting collection of potable bitters in the back (Italian and German).
Beaded Lily Beads & Designer JewelryVia Toscanella 33rPhone: +39 055 239 9182An inspiring array of unique beading supplies, handmade designer jewelry, Italian Tubular Wire Mesh Ribbon, Italian chains, yarns and more. Now offering glass beadmaking and jewellery design courses.
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria NovellaVia della Scala 16 NAn old pharmacy, which sells high-qualitiy beauty products like soaps, shaving cream, eau de Cologne.
Pitti Vintage - Italian & European Vintage Clothing & AccessoriesBorgo degli Albizi 72rPhone: +39 055 230 2676Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Lancetti, Valentino. Specializes in Italian and European designer and one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.
Cose Del 900 - Italian Glass ConnectionBorgo San Jacopo 45RPhone: +39 055 283 491Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:30AM-7:30PMSince 1981 - Specializing in sized-to-order, affordable beaded jewelry featuring handmade Murano glass beads.
Zei CinofiliaVia P. Colletta n.30/32rPhone: +39 055 2477909Hours: 9AM-7PMSince 1962 the pet shop has been selling stylish Italian accessories for cats and dogs.
Ortigia SRLBorgo San Jacopo 12RPhone: +39 055 282129Luxurious soaps, scents, creams, candles and lotions inspired by the aesthetics, colours, and scents of Sicily.
Creature DiverseBorgo San Jacopo 76/rPhone: +39 055 2382206Hours: noon-7:30PMPrice: 20-40 and upSarah, the designer/owner of this jewellery and curio shop, doubles as a designer for some of the best known luxury brands (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc). Buy her stylish, hip originals here. Great souvenirs for women (or Jewellery wearing men).
Ottica FotografiaVia dei Pecori, 19rPhone: +39 055 287966Hours: Monday - Saturday 9AM - 6PMClaims to be the oldest shop in Florence, and this can easily be believed. The shop has survived just infront of the Cathedral and is well worth a visit - especially if you need glasses made or repaired, good quality inexpensive sunglasses, or old school camera film. (Or anything else from an odd assortment of interesting items found in the window!) Owner Mario speaks fluent Italian, French and English.

Beware: If the police catch you while buying a knock-off version of something with a brand from an (illegal) street vendor, you can be fined up to €10,000. You'll see plenty of people on the street selling imitation Gucci sunglasses, Rolex watches, and Prada purses dirt cheap. It's okay if the item doesn't have a real brand on it, but buying a knock-off is illegal.


source: Wikivoyage

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