San Lorenzo Market, Florence
There is a large leather market in the San Lorenzo area of Florence, located 5 -10 mins walk from the Duomo.
Here you can browse through stall after stall of handbags, leather jackets, belts etc and other clothing and gifts.
I have been to the market a few times and it has always been really crowded - so please keep your belongings close to you!
What to buy: Leather goods of course....well I think they are all leather....though some items are sooooo cheap compared to the "proper" shops.
My sister had fallen in love with a leather jacket in a shop that was a few hundred euros. Then she saw an "identical" jacket at the market for around 80 euros - sold!!!
No one back home needs to know anymore than "this is the jacket I bought in Florence"!!
Handbags were good too....I was tempted but a lack of spare room in my suitcase held me back!!
What to pay: Alot cheaper than the shops - just be careful of the quality you are buying.
I have been to Florence three times and all three times I have loved the San Lorenzo market. I do not even need to buy anything, I just love to be there.
What to buy: Leather, I wish I would have come home with a new jacket.
What to pay: 100-200 euros
Whether you are looking for that knock off prada purse or a really nice leather jacket, you will find it here along with an assortment of other fine Florentine items in the San Lorenzo Market. This airy market is a great part of Florence.
What to buy: Leather goods
Florentine paper and bound books
Figurines of David and Pinocchio.
What to pay: Negotiable depending on the item
Located next to the San Lorenzo Church is a busy marketplace with over 100 stalls peddling leather goods, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, designer goods and designer knock offs at low prices.
What to buy: Leather good, clothes, jewelry
The whole San Lorenzo area is great all sorts of shopping from ties, leather goods and tacky t-shirts!
Of course be aware that not everything is at bargain prices and if you look around the corner from the prominent stalls you may find better prices. You can bargain a bit as well.
The large square building is the Mercato Centrale and is on two floors. Much of the downstairs is devoted to meat, cheese and general food shops, upstairs is mostly fruit and veg.
What to buy: Cheese - they will vacume pack for you!
Porcini mushrooms - check quality around the stalls.
New olive oil and maninated olives.
Fresh coffee (beans or ground).
Also have an expresso in one of the various small cafes - probably the cheapest and best you'll find in the area!
I almost forgot to mention the candied fruit (all sorts of varieties).
What to pay: Best prices for cheese, meat etc, unless you go somewhere more obscure!
This market is fantastic - it sprawls and branches off, with goods from leather to gaudy souveneirs, ladies/mens fashion to jewellery. The leather shops here are fantastic, just be sure to bargain hard!! There are also great vintage clothing stalls and the best thing is that it surrounds the fantastic mercato centrale!! (refer to other tip!)
What to buy: Leather, jewellery, clothes, shoes, food, wine!!! The list goes on, I only wish I hadn't been so frugal and bough more!
What to pay: It ranges...but a lot of the items are middle of the range to bottom end in quality and prices...
After just returning from "beautiful" Florence I would say that San Lorenzo market is a convenient and fun way to shop in Italy. It is reasonably priced and one of the best deals out of all of the places that I visited in Italy. We were in Pisa (good leather prices but seedy people). Rome didn't have that much shopping and it was not cheap. The only thing about San Lorenzo market that I was surprised about was that the vendors are not all so quick to bargain with you. If you like something and they will not come down in price then GO TO ANOTHER VENDOR NEXT DOOR WHO WILL HAVE THE SAME THING AND WHO WILL BARGAIN WITH YOU. Once you say that you will pay in cash they should cut the price at least 2 Euros. If not, go somewhere else. There are so many vendors that you will find the item and price that you want.
What to buy: In Florence at San Lorenzo Market I would purchase leather gloves, pocketbooks, scarves (pashminas), silk ties, belts, and shoes. The jewelry (if you are from New York and go to Canal Street) is not a good deal. they sell most of it on the Ponte Vecchio bridge and it is not cheap. Wine is also a good deal. U.S. citizens can only bring home 1 or 2 bottles. So drink it while you are there. The Chianti is great and because it is so fresh there are no preservatives so you will not get a headache. It is also a great deal. 4 or 5 euros will buy you a great bottle of Chianti!!!!!
What to pay: Gloves with a cashmire lining should cost no more than 20 to 25 Euros. You may even get a better deal if you keep trying. Pashminas should cost about 15-20 Euros at San Lorenzo market. They have people selling them everywhere.
Florence has many interesting inside and outside markets. One of the most famous is the San Lorenzo Market in the centre of Florence.
What to buy: Food is offered inside the central market building; all other goods like clothing, shoes and leather are offered on the street market.
I'm not one for shopping, but the market place in Florence is very nice and you can really find good stuff and not just crap. Especially leather goods. I bought a lamb skin leather jacket that was done in a European cut, for $125. It would easily sell for twice that in America. No joke. It is at least worth a look in my opinion.
The San Lorenzo Market is going strong every day of the week, but you may want to save this shopping for Sunday when the rest of Florence's stores are closed. San Lorenzo offers an open-air selection of goods ranging from leather purses and shoes, to Florentine stationary and crafts. Wander into the leather shops behind the stalls to find the best selection of quality leather coats at reasonable prices.
What to buy: Beautiful stationary decorated with signature Florentine floral and peacock designs make lovely (and affordable) souvenirs and gifts. You can also find nice leather-bound items embossed with the Florentine fleur-di-lis.
Knock-off designer purses, watches, and sunglasses can also be bought from friendly Albanians, as long as you don't mind your Gucci spelled with an "o" instead of a "u".
What to pay: Anywhere from 1euro to 100+ depending on the item in question.
The area around San Lorenzo is probably the busiest in Florence. During the day, street vendors sell anything from t-shirts to leather goods. The Central Market (Mercato Centrale) is housed inside a large building designed in the 19th century.
As my guidebook says "the most fun you'll have leather shopping is without a doubt at the outdoor stalls of the San Lorenzo market, even if the market is rife with mediocre goods."
Haggle hard because the prices are purposely inflated. If you’re good, you can barter them down to almost half the original asking price.
What to buy: Anything leather. We bought a couple of scarfs as well.
A winding street filled with tons of local vendors selling leather knock-offs and local goods. Good for people watching, cheap goods, and colorful photos.
What to buy: Leather shoes, leather belts, leather jackets . . . and did I mention leather??? :)
What to pay: Depends on how good you are at bargaining? Unless you're like me, and you mistakenly try to offer the guy more than what he just quoted you. :)
There is so much at this market. It's a great place to pick up souveniers or gifts. I bought my suede jacket here when I was in highschool (see pic) and I was able to bargain the price down by $40.