There are several medium and large supermarkets near the center of Florence where you can get great gourmet items for yourself or gifts. Most notably WINE. This is where locals buy there wine, so why not you? Great selection and prices that will make you faint when you compare them to your home country!
Here are a couple of supermarkets:
Ponte alla Vittoria / Via Pisana
Via Massacio (near Piazza Liberta)
3. Standa - open till 2100 and on Sunday!
Via Pietrapiana (in front of post office, near Teatro Verdi)
What to buy: Wine, wine and more wine. For Americans you can get cheap Cuban rum and smuggle it home in your carry-on. You can also get great cheeses, many of which will easily keep for 24+ hours. If you are from a country that doensn't like our cheese coming in - get the one packaged in the airsealed bag so the food police don't get wind of it. In addition, there are loads of sauces and pastas that you can only find in fancy-shmancy restaurants outside of Italy. Fill up your bag while you have the chance!!!
All supermarkets take credit cards and have cashpoints (ATMs) as well.
Florence’s answer to Foyle’s/ Borders. A three-level bookstore with internet (cheap internet 2.50 Euros per hour!) and a café on the first (2nd US) floor. Large selection of English language books as well as extensive selection of travel guides in English and Italian for Italy and rest of world. It is a great place to have a coffee (at normal prices 80 Eurocents) and sit down, puruse art books and people watch. The store is open seven days awake until midnight. If you have a laptop, sit by the coffee bar, there is a plug on the side (very few people realize this)
Florence has been a centre of craftsmanship since the Middle Ages when shoemakers and goldsmiths were accorded the same status as artists and sculptors. Today, the city remains famous for its high-quality leather produce, goldsmiths and marbled paper. Artisans can still be seen plying their trade in workshops all over the city. The area around Santa Croce is home to the city’s leather-makers, while the Oltrarno is cluttered with the workshops of local gold and silversmiths – although the Ponte Vecchio is home to the glitzier shops.
Designer boutiques cluster around the Via de’ Tornabuoni and Via Calzaiuoli where Versace, Ferragamo, Gucci and Valentino all have stores. The more frugal can find copies in the open-air San Lorenzo Market in Piazza San Lorenzo, northwest of the Duomo. Leather belts and bags, silk scarves and soft wool jerseys can be picked up for a song – although it is advisable to check the quality before buying. Nearby stands the covered food market. Bursting with olives, hams, cheeses and fresh vegetables, it is the perfect place to buy a picnic or just indulge a love of grub. The flea market at Piazza dei Ciompi specialises in antiques and collectable junk and provides an enjoyable rummage for the bargain-hunter.
Specialist shops worth a visit include the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Via Scala 16. Housed in a frescoed chapel, this old-fashioned chemist was founded by monks in the 16th century. Lotions, potions and herbal remedies abound in elegant packaging. Handmade shoes created in time-honoured tradition can be purchased at Francesco, Via Santo Spirito 62r, while Pineider is considered the most exclusive stationers in all Italy, having designed calling cards for Napoleon, Byron and Maria Callas, among others.Food shops are usually closed on Wednesday afternoons, or Saturday afternoons in the summer. Clothes shops are often closed on Monday mornings. There is limited opening on Sundays.
I found this peculiar but it does make sense that there should be a shop with this type of clothing for sale!
Nice little shop located in a fascinating street.
What to buy: Vintage Clothing, shoes & Handbags
What to pay: Not too expansive
A very small shop in San Niccolò, one of the the most tipycal area of Florence.
What to buy: Cheese cake, bagels, brownies, chocolate chips cookies, muffins.....
What to buy: Paper products, hand made book!
What to pay: 30~40 euro for a hand made book, the cover of this book used marbling technique
Very friendly and accomodating unlike some of the upscale shops in Florence. They specialize in Missoni knits.
What to pay: Misstar Srl
Francesco is a tiny shop runned by Francesco and his family. If you like Capri style sandals that will last a lot, this is the perfect place to go.
What to pay: 60/70 € for sandals
150/200 € for winter shoes
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