You can buy all kinds of designer knock offs and it is hard to pass up that cute Gucci purse for 15 Euros, but remember it is illegal and you could be fined or it could be confiscated when you leave the EU.
Via Tornabuoni has some of the most fashionable and expensive stores in the world. Probably will not appeal to the younger crowd because these stores cater to an older group and therefore the styles tend to be a bit conservative.
This was an old frames shop which used to sell old toys and uniforms, too. Now it has been converted in a Vintage shop and it is one of the nicest one here! Prices are good and the variety of stuff is very interesting.
What to buy: Military uniforms and mementos - vintage accessories, shoes, bijoux, handbags, old toys.
There are many markets in Firenze. They seem to specialise in scarves, shawls, ties, handbags, wallets, sunglasses, t-shirts (football or tourist 'Firenze' t-shirts), rugs, paintings/drawings of Firenze and many other things.
As you can see, from the photo, the colours of the scarves and shawls are beautiful. I ended up buying one that had pink, red and a gold thread intertwining. They can be around EUR20-25, try your luck at bargaining if you think the price is too high. My friend was able to bargain for a pair of sunglasses and got the price down a bit.
3 of the coolest research shop in Florence. Gerard is more sophisticated (Balenciaga, Chloé......), Gerard Loft is more "street style" - also kid's wear (Evisu, Marc Jacobs, Levi's Vintage, Levi's Red, Pringle of Scotland, Adidas Limited ....) and the third one is their new born outlet.
Gerard Loft : Via dei Pecori, 34-40 P 055.282491 www.gerardloft.com
Gerard: via Vacchereccia 18- 20 P 055.215942
Outlet: Via Lambertesca
In this airy shop you will find very modern handmade items of glass and ceramics and some other types. Several artists are represented. Everything is so beautiful. The moment I walked in the door, I knew I would buy something! It is that kind of place!
I bought myself a small Murano glass pendant, of very modern design. I love it!! Besides jewelry, they have items for your house, too. The young mother of a cute baby boy helped me. They were the ones on duty that day. She didn't speak much English, but I think she said she was one of the artists, but not the one who made my piece.
This shop is right up the street from the Fiorini Letizia, which I wrote about earlier this week, in another Tip! In fact I discovered my pendant on the way to the ATM ( so I could buy my toys!!) ! What a great day to shop it was! Firenze is definitely a place to shop.
What to pay: Expect to pay at least Euros 25.
This beautiful little shop is also the artist's workshop. She makes her original creations right there at her counter, which also serves as the sales counter. I was so excited to find this shop, as I walked on my last morning in Firenze.
I couldn't resist buying the Pinochio puppet. I was entranced with a puppet I thought was a princess, from her dress and long hair. The artist told me she was the Blue Fairy, from Pinochio, so I knew had to buy her, too! Then how could I have them without Gepetto? I hadn't bought any puppets since I gave up preschool teaching, back in '97. But hers are so charming and not expensive for a handcrafted puppet.
I also took a handmade little jack-in-the-box home with me. He sits on my fireplace mantle now. Very Italian looking fellow, for only 22 Euros! This one is more an art object than a children's toy. Most of her dolls might be considered for adult collectors, too. Can you see the large, dressy witch "flying" on her broom in the window?! I'm sure this is for decorative use, not a toy.
I asked her how long she had been doing this. She said 22 years, but just opened the shop this year. So I hope she is very successful with her new shop and enjoys it, then she will still be there when you look for her! Or when I return again someday. . .
The photo I took, from right in front of her little shop, has the reflection of a tourist standing near me & of me taking the photo. She didn't take credit cards, but there is an ATM just up the street.
Compai is a special vintage shop, better known as a "garment clinic".
There you can have your old t-shirt simply rehabilitated thanks to the good job of a qualified staff of artists and tailors!
What to buy: Vintage + used/rehabilitated
We found some of the best purse stalls in town to be at the Mercato Nuovo. A wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors. Of course the more you purchse from a single dealer, the better deal they will give you. Look for the dealer with the Pratesi purses. He's the only market stall in Florence that is authorized to sell these fine quality purses that sell for much more in the nice stores in town. Check out Pratesi at http://www.chinatownhi.com/leis.asp
What to buy: Leather purses, brief cases, meeting folios
What to pay: Could be a little, could be a lot
The Scuola del Cuoio makes top quality leather goods in the tradition of the monks that started the trade at the Basilica di Santa Croce. They now make goods for sale to the public. Everything from jackets and wallets to boxes and key chains. You can also watch the artisans at work and they will also personalize your purchases with gold leaf lettering for an additional fee. You know what you're getting when you purchase something here, unlike out at the stalls around the Basilica di San Lorenzo.
What to buy: Leather goods
What to pay: Anywhere from 10 to 1000 Euro depending on what you purchase
Historic Shop just a few steps from the Duomo, opened since 1860.
What to buy: Traditional Tuscan meats, cheeses from all regions, Paté, sauces, extra vergin olive oil, Chianti Wines, coffees, chocolates and fresh pasta.
Salvatorre Ferragamo lives in Florence, so going to his shop is like visiting him. I didn't buy anything 'cause I didn't have much money at the time, but it's kind of cool to be in the designer's backyard.
What to buy: Expensive clothes, shoes, etc.
What to pay: A lot
Boscovivo is a fabulous shop located in the heart of Florence.
It sells Tuscan delicacies - everything from olive oils, truffles, mushrooms, jams, sauces and dressings, and of course a good selection of Tuscan wines.
It was conveniently located close to our hotel, and we were tempted in one day by the taste testing being offered....
What to buy: We bought a huge bag of delicious Biscotti - which I took back to share with my workmates in London....and ended up eating most of myself as the were too good!
Also, we bought this small back of almonds covered in what looked like cocoa powder - Alex declared them the tastiest chocolate covered almonds he had ever had.
What to pay: Well, it isn't cheap, but they sell very nice quality goods.
Around the stadium you’ll be able to buy every kind of Fiorentina-souvenir that you’re looking for. Shirts, hats, scarves, flags and so on. In at least the Curva Fiesole you’ll be able to buy official souvenirs from and for the ultrasgroups.
What to pay: 5-6 euro for a scarve. 10 euro for a matchshirt. 10 euro for a flag.
I have to say that this is the most common sight of Florence...besides that sculptures ,statues and beautiful house . Yes , its LV or Lousi Vuitton oppss ..its the Louis Vuitton actually ...and along a 30 metres stretch of small street , you see like 10 stalls selling them ...all sprawled on the floor ...so if next time anybody in VT is looking for fake LVs etc etc perhaps we can tell them ....after all getting a bag in Florence means ...phew !
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