After Milan, Florence is Italy’s top shopping city—beating even the capital, Rome. Here’s what to buy: leather, fashion, shoes, marbleized paper, hand-embroidered linens, artisan and craft items, Tuscan wines, handmade jewelry, pietre dure (known also as “Florentine mosaic,” inlaid semiprecious stones), and antiques.
General Florentine shopping hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to noon or 1pm and 3 or 3:30 to 7:30pm, although increasingly, many shops are staying open on Sunday and through that midafternoon riposo or nap, especially the larger stores and those around tourist sights.
The Top Shopping Streets & Areas
Around Santa Trínita -- The cream of the crop of Florentine shopping lines both sides of elegant Via de’ Tornabuoni, with an extension along Via della Vigna Nuova and other surrounding streets. Here you’ll find the big Florentine fashion names like Gucci ★ (at no. 73R; www.gucci.com; (tel) 055-264-011), Pucci ★ (at no. 22R; www.emiliopucci.com; (tel) 055-265-8082), and Ferragamo ★ (at no. 4R; www.ferragamo.com; (tel) 055-292-123) ensconced in old palaces or modern minimalist boutiques. Stricter traffic controls have made shopping Via de’ Tornabuoni a more sedate experience, though somewhat at the expense of its surrounding streets.
Around Via Roma & Via dei Calzaiuoli -- These are some of Florence’s busiest streets, packed with storefronts offering mainstream shopping. It is here you will find the city’s major department stores, Coin, Via dei Calzaiuoli 56R (www.coin.it; (tel) 055-280-531), and La Rinascente, Piazza della Repubblica (www.rinascente.it; (tel) 055-219-113) and quality chains such as Geox and Zara.
Via dei Servi -- Leading from the Duomo to Piazza Santissima Annunziata, this street is a genuine oddity in the old center. While others around it cater to the tourist dollar, here you will find small indie booksellers, shops selling work uniforms, and traditional picture framers. Check out the displays at stamp collector’s store Filatelia Brioschi (at no. 31R; (tel) 055-214-082) or buy a hand-bound journal at Scriptorium ★ (at no. 7R; www.scriptoriumfirenze.com; (tel) 055-211-804).
Around Santa Croce -- The eastern part of the center has seen a flourishing of one-off stores, with an emphasis on young, independent fashions. Borgo degli Albizi and its tributary streets repay a roam. This is also where you will find the daily flea market, the Mercato delle Pulci.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.