Mercato Nuovo: Leather Purses
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 Supermarket!: Vino Italiano - Where to get wine???
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.
Any Fruit Shop In Town: Eat Fresh Food
Fresh fruit is avalible all over Florence. Even in winter!! Little shops can be found everywhere.
What to buy: Fresh Fruit is a very very cheap and healthy option for something satisfying to eat. Because no one is preparing any thing the cost is low and the nutrative value is high. Look for things you do not find at home and that are local. The muscat grape will blow your socks off.
What to pay: The LEAST EXPENSIVE FOOD YOU WILL EAT IN ITALYRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
LUISA Via Roma - CLOSED FOR RENOVATION WORKS: Concept store
It's a high end boutique that offers a great selection of exclusive brands such as Balenciaga, Luella, Chloé, Mulberry, Marc Jacobs, Yojhi Yamamoto and many many others....It is also a venue for special art/design/music exhibitions/events.
You can shop online!
What to buy: Everything is special there. Have a look at the toys section.
What to pay: A lot
Angela Caputi: High-fashion costume jewelry in plastic...
The shop in Santo Spirito is also Angela Caputi's laboratory. She creates there high fashion statement pieces in dramatic colors and shapes.
What to buy: Coloured and original high fashion costume jewellery and other accessories (bags, umbrellas). In some shops also clothes are available.
Lisa Corti: Home textile and garments
Lovely shops selling original creations using unusual materials and bright colors. Clothes are very simple with a slightly masculine, oriental cut.
What to buy: Organza and velvet bed covers, maharaja cushions, multicolours organza pillow cases, linen tablecloths with napkins, hand painted cotton and muslin fabrics, bed spreads, quilts, velvet and organza clothes, nightgowns, shirts, embroidered scarves, muslin curtains, blue ceramic vases.
Markets in Firenze: Markets
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.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Lorenzo Villoresi: Perfumes
Lorenzo Villoresi is an artisan who is known all over the world for prestigious custom made fragrances. He uses spices, essences and essential oils from across the globe to create original perfumes.
What to buy: Perfumes
Outside the stadium: Football-souvenirs
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.
Fiorini Letizia: Handmade Puppets, Dolls & Other Toys
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.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Adrugada Firenze: Modern Italian Crafts
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.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Arts and Culture
Ferragamo, Versace, Armani, Dior, Gucci, et al: Via Tornabuoni
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.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Signum: Florentine Paper at its best
Florence is renowned for its paper and there are lots of shops selling Florentine paper, noteboks and thinggs. However, this shop stands out from the others.
Signum to me, is that last word on florentine paper and stationery. They sell hardback neotebooks in all shapes and sizes with their own bound papern from pocket sized to A4 or excectuive sized. Then, they sell journals, diaries, daybooks, even "thoughts and quotations books", in the same theme. They have wide, hardback music manuscripts, too.
There are selections of writing paper, and note cards.
On the writing implement side, they have inks, fountain pens, nibs, quills, blotters, and wax and seals with letters of the alphabet or you can pick your initials from the seals on a rack.
The post cards and bookmarks they sell are unique to Signum, they have depictions of Dante's inferno and crests of florence. these start from 60 Euro cents.
Other miscellany include gude books, calendars, jigsaw puzzles and framed photos.
What to buy: the calligraphy sets, notebooks and postcards make wonderful gifts and reminders of Florence.
What to pay: anything from 60 euro cents for a postcard to 60 euros for one of the larger notebooks
Paperback Exchange: English Books
This little shop moved from the university area to this fantastic location in the historic center a few years ago. This also seemed to free up space to improve their selection. The staff all speak English and are very friendly and helpful.
This is the best source for a variety of English-language books in the city and - even better - is simply a neat, well-run bookstore.
What to pay: The cost per book is very reasonable and varies based on condition (for used books).
Street Vendors On Sheets: Illegal Shopping
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.Related to:
- Women's Travel
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