Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Florence
Spending time in Florence soaking up the rich history of the city will leave you wanting to discover more. The museums, art galleries, architecture, and gelato define Florence, but shopping in this city of high fashion and fantastic open markets is also right at the top of the list. Grab your wallet, some reusable shopping bags, and hit the malls and markets for a day of wonderful shopping.
Italy is best known throughout the globe for high-end design and one of the best places to showcase new Italian designs is in the luxury boutiques in Florence. Whether you are looking to refresh your wardrobe to make you more international or you are searching for a fantastic gift or one-of-a-kind souvenir, you will definitely find it in Florence.
Be sure to locate a luggage storage locker near where you will shopping so you can drop your extra bags and keep shopping while knowing your belongings are safe. Then continue on with the best shopping in Florence!
Address: Via dell’Ariento 10, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Firenze, Italy
This amazing open air market is one of the most famous shopping markets in Florence. The actual building where the market is housed dates back to 1874 and is made of cast-iron and glass, making it a very interesting place to visit if you are looking at the intriguing architecture that makes up Florence.
The Central Market is part of the bigger San Lorenzo Market and comprises of two levels filled with amazing vendors offering a little bit of everything, especially fresh produce, meats, and cheeses as well as plenty of street food vendors creating scrumptious dishes for you to enjoy while you shop. Take a break and enjoy live music while tasting authentic pizza, pasta, and Tuscan wine.
The Mercato Centrale is the biggest covered market in Florence so you can even visit when the weather is not ideal. Plan on spending a few hours exploring the Central Market and then if the weather is nice, head outdoors to explore the rest of the San Lorenzo Market where you will find clothing, leather goods, souvenirs, and collectibles.
Address: Via Santo Spirito 58 R, Florence, Italy
You do not want to miss the chance to visit one of the best jewelry stores in Florence! Angela Caputi has created a glamourous 1940s Hollywood vibe that makes you smile as soon as you step in the door. The chunky, but elegant, costume jewelry is made using local materials. These classic and timeless pieces are a great addition to any wardrobe.
Most of the jewelry is made of crystal, plastic, and/or resin, creating affordable pieces that will look like a million bucks. The original store opened in the 1970s and has risen to international fame. The pieces Angela Caputi designs are assembled at the flagship store and all resin pieces are made using Italian resin.
Pick out a few chunky and slightly funky pieces of jewelry to compliment your wardrobe and also find a few pieces to give as gifts. Your friends will love the Caputi originals that you bring home. If you visit the flagship store, you may even see Angela and have the chance to chat about her creations.
Address: Via del Parione 31, Firenze, Italy
Founded in 1970, Il Bisonte has now gone global with shops throughout the world. The original shop sits in the heart of Florence on the site where the stables of Palazzo Corsini once stood. When you step inside Il Bisonte, the deep, rich smell of quality leather will fill your lungs and make you want to breathe deeper.
The vaulted rooms are filled with accessories and chunky bags with the iconic Il Bisonte bison on them. This is a high-end store, so expect to spend quite a bit even on the smallest items. Breathtaking leather travel cases will cost you just under $1,000 as will leather briefcases. Plan on spending around $400 for a shoulder bag or clutch, and a leather wallet will cost you around $300.
This is the most iconic shopping street in Florence and a must-visit when you are on a shopping spree. You will find all the high-end boutiques and top-notch designer stores including Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany & Co, Versace, and Gucci. Be prepared to drain your savings when you shop along the Via de’Tornabuoni flagship stores.
As you stroll along this iconic street, you can enjoy looking at the architecture of several breathtaking churches and palazzi that you will want to explore. There are several great streets that branch off Via de’Tornabuoni that also have wonderful boutiques. Meander down Via della Vigna Nuova and Via Porta Rossa when you are finished exploring the main street. To learn how to navigate the streets and neighborhoods of Florence, take a look at this handy guide, compiled by Bounce.
Piazza Santo Spirito
You can pretty much find a little bit of everything when you head to the Piazza Santo Spirito. Angele Caputi’s flagship store is located here as well as other fantastic jewelry stores. Comb through boutiques and shops offering accessories, vintage clothing, antiques, and housewares. You can even find some of the lesser known Italian designers in this piazza.
This thriving shopping hub even has a fresh produce market, street food vendors, art galleries, and a crafts market. Shopaholics will love spending the day at Piazza Santo Spirito checking out antique shops and doing a little window shopping. Be sure to bring along plenty of cash, most of the artisans only accept cash.
Address: Borgo Santa Croce 6, Firenze, Italy
This is the only outlet that has items by master perfumer, Sileno Cheloni. You will be able to find body care products, scented candles, perfumes, and other fantastic items. Aqua Flor is one of the best places to shop in Florence. The store is located in the former stables of the palace and has a rather small and inconspicuous entrance that you really have to search for.
Aqua Flor was founded by Nicola Bianchi, a master perfumer, and still has a large selection of his signature scents with most of his perfumes in designer bottles and displayed in the glass-fronted cabinets. The store will be a fantastic assault on your senses and make you want to come back, again and again, to check out the new scents and products being offered.
Scuola del Cuoio
Address: Via San Giuseppe 5R, Firenze, Italy
Located in a church that was built in the 13th century, the Scuola del Cuoio is a leather school that allows students to learn the trade of leather work. Skilled artisans teach at the school and even offer some of their own leather goods for sale. The public is allowed to come and watch them work and browse through the selection of jackets, bags, coin purses, and other accessories that were made at the school.
The items that were made by the students and are available at Scuola del Cuoio can be bought for a song. You will find great deals on fantastic items. You can easily pick up several fantastic gifts to take home with you. Many of the leather goods available can even be personalized for that extra special touch. Stop in to watch leather making at its finest.
Address: Via Europa 8, Leccio Reggello, Italy
Experience Florence shopping at its finest when you visit Mall Firenze outlet mall. You can find amazing deals on name brand items from iconic Italian designers as well as international brands. Head to the Tuscan countryside, just south of Florence, and spend the day exploring this outlet mall. The 30-minute commute from the city center to the mall is well worth it.
If you do not want to drive or you do not have access to a car, you can catch the shuttle that runs from the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence to Mall Firenze. The shuttle does take an hour instead of the half hour drive. Stroll wooden walkways along lush green lawns as you spend time in some of the more popular stores such as Balenciaga, Ferragamo, Prada, and Gucci.
Address: Via de’Bardi 17, Florence, Italy
One of the best places to shop in Florence for book lovers is Il Torchio. Bookbinding and paper marbling are two of the oldest traditions in Florence that are still alive and well. Books created using handmade paper and leather covers are a fantastic gift for those who love reading and holding a physical book in their hands. The art of physical books is going by the wayside in this day of ebooks.
Drop by Il Torchio and breathe in the delicious scent of hand-tooled leather and the mustiness of books. You can spend an entire afternoon in this unique, tiny shop. You can even sign up for the Oltrarno workshop where traditional bookbinding is showcased. The techniques used have been modernized throughout the years, but still hold true to the history of the art.
Aside from leather bound books, you will find other fantastic gifts such as photo frames, albums, handmade paper, canvas, and leather goods. There are even wonderful books that have olive wood as the front cover and even leather bound books that are held shut with ribbon or elastic bands.
Address: Via di San Niccolo 2, Florence, Italy
This iconic men’s shoe business was opened in 1983 by Stefano Bemer in the San Frediano neighborhood. He was best known for creating striking made-to-order and ready-to-wear shoes. Bemer also is known for allowing Daniel Day-Lewis to apprentice under him in 1999 for ten months. Bemer died in 2012 and his brand was bought by Tommaso Melani who is the director of the Scuola di Cuoio.
The store was moved to eastern Oltrarno into a chapel that has been deconsecrated, the architecture alone will draw you in. The Bemer brand still strives to create amazing men’s footwear using high-quality leather including Tuscan calfskin, United States alligator, American pony skin, and even South African ostrich. All components of Bemer footwear are handmade by local artisans.
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
Address: Via della Scala 16, Firenze, Italy
The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest herbal pharmacies not just in Italy, but in the entire world. There are even newer locations in New York, London, and Tokyo. The flagship store was founded in a gorgeous frescoed chapel that was built by Dominican monks in 1221. The chapel was eventually opened to the public as an herbal pharmacy in 1612.
Step inside and take a deep breath, filling your lungs with the signature scent that is a mix of flowers and herbs specifically from the Tuscan hills. Feast your eyes on the glass-fronted cabinets in the main chapel. The cabinets are filled with ornate glass bottles of perfumes, oils, body lotions, soaps, and hand creams.
You will definitely want to stock up on their exquisite signature soaps that come in several amazing scents such as pomegranate, rose, and iris. While here, head to the back room for some amazing herbal concoctions and herbal teas. The Baby Relax elixir is wonderful for a restless infant or young child and the Acqua di Santa Maria Novella is renowned as an anti-hysteria mixture.
Best Shopping in Florence
Whether you are planning on shopping the independent boutiques, open air markets, or shopping malls, you will find some of the best shopping in Florence in and around the city center. Visit the food markets for wonderful fresh fruit and Tuscan wines and then stroll along Via de’Tornabuoni where many high-end designers can be found.