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Florence Concert and Dinner
"Your evening starts in the charming neighborhood of Oltrarno on the south side of the Arno River. Make your own way to a traditional Florentine restaurant where your table awaits. Then sit back and relax as the friendly waiting staff serve up your meal. Select a budget-friendly set menu with Chianti wine or upgrade to enjoy a choice of traditional Tuscan dishes from an à la carte menu. Wine is not included with the à la carte option but a wide selection is available should you want to order a bottle at your own expense. See the Itinerary for sample menus. After dinner take a short stroll into town to St Mark's Anglican Church
From EUR89.00
Cooking Class: Italian-Style Meatballs and Tiramisu
"When most people think of meatballs mounds of pasta doused in red sauce come to mind. Ironically in Italy it’s rare to see spaghetti and meatballs on the same plate. Polpette are savory appetizers or stand-alone entrees. Italy’s meatballs come in many shapes sizes and sauces. They are made from pork seafood and even vegetables.This class offers two interesting options that will surely satisfy your taste buds. You will learn how to make authentic meatballs; how to choose your ingredients fresh organic
From EUR125.00
Florence Full Day Trip from Livorno
"You will be driven to discover Florence a dynamic city perfect representation of Italian Reinassance. Florence hosts a wide range of monuments impressive gardens typical shops starred restaurants and trattorias. Have a walk and discover the Mercato Nuovo where you can find the Fontana del Porcellino (Piglet Fountain) and enjoy a magnificent view over the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo. Go through the Boboli Gardens: an op statues fountains and very old olm oaks. One of the most impressive palace is the Uffizi Gallery located off the Piazza della Signoria. The museum offers thousands of artworks by masters like Michelangelo
From EUR525.00

Gold Shopping Tips (16)

Cose Del 900: Simple, beautiful & affordable jewelry!

What a charming find! We so enjoyed chatting with the owners of this gem-of-a-shop. One owner is from Florence and the other from Germany and they speak English, as well. Their shop is on such a beautiful street and just 2 minutes from Ponte Vecchio. They have been in this same location since 1981!

What to buy So many wonderful things! Margarete, one of the owners, specializes in simple, beautiful pieces. She has a wonderfully elegant touch. Plus they are happy to tailor a piece for you while you wait at no extra charge!

What to pay I was very impressed with how affordable those beautiful items were! It seems that everything is SO expensive these days - This shop was a real treat. I was able to purchase 3 lovely items (2 bracelets and 1 necklace) for under 90 Euro!

meltdown's Profile Photo
Jul 13, 2008

Maren Erickson: Personal shopper for custom gold jewelry

Maren Erickson is a bilingual (English/Italian) personal shopper in Florence. She has an extensive network of local artisans and shop owners she shares with her clients. In just over two hours, she guided my husband and me on a power-shopping excursion that would have taken us days to execute on our own. She has a keen eye for style and quality, and a good sense for what her clients are seeking.

Maren knows great sources for gold jewelry as well as leather, silks, pottery, and lots more. She also provided good advice on local restaurants. After our shopping spree, she joined us for a lovely lunch at a cafe near Piazza Repubblica.

What to buy Maren took us to a jewelry shop near Piazza Santa Croce to see their Roman coin jewelry. I liked aspects of many of the necklaces we were shown, but I didn't see "the one" that I couldn't live without. Maren saw my dilemma and went and got the shop owner. After a quick chat, the proprietor pulled out a tray of unmounted coins and encouraged me to pick the one I liked. She assured me that they could mount it in the setting I selected and have it all ready by the next day. I was able to pick out the exact combination I wanted! What a treat to be able to participate in the design of my beautiful necklace. It made the purchase even more special. Being a "friend of Maren" definitely helped with the final price of the piece.

What to pay Prices vary depending on many factors including size, setting, chain, etc.

Dec 01, 2012

Lots of shops on the bridge: All that Glitters

A multitude of jewelry shops on the Ponte Vecchio. Once, many European bridges were like this, with shops and houses built on the bridge. Most are now gone, but here you can get a sense of what living and shopping over a river is like. The bridge is always bustling, with mobs of tourists taking pictures of the river.

The quality of the jewelry ranges from cheap and tacky to outrageous and gorgeous.

What to buy Gold, gold, gold...and leather, leather, leather. Be prepared to haggle over the price.

What to pay from next to nothing to a fortune; it depends on your taste and the contents of your wallet (or your credit limit)

ExGuyParis's Profile Photo
Nov 17, 2002

Ponte Vecchio: Jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio

Goldsmiths and Silversmiths have lined both sides of the Ponte Vecchio since the 15th century. Today the shops on the Ponte Vecchio are jewelry stores carrying fine gold jewelry and coral jewelry.

What to buy Gold jewelry, coral jewelry

What to pay The prices are not considered a bargain.

geeyook's Profile Photo
Jul 19, 2004
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The Gold Corner: Great Coral Jewelry Here

It's a small little jewlery store, but they have a great selection and the clerks are very helpful. Tourist pay no tax here.

What to buy This is where I bought my pink coral and gold earrings...

What to pay $20 USD on up to....

Goner's Profile Photo
Jun 10, 2003

Ponte Vecchio: You want Gold? They Have Gold!

This famous bridge in Florence houses may gold and silver jewelry shops. Whether you're in the mood to shop on just brouse, this is the spot.

For more information on the bridge, see my "Must See."

What to buy GOLD!! SILVER!! For more information on the various shops, see the web site below.

guell's Profile Photo
Feb 09, 2003

Ponte Vecchio: All that glitters is not gold!

The atmosphere and the design on some of the pieces.

What to buy I was walking along the shops with my girlfriend and we were looking at the jewelry through the windows. At one shop, we noticed an interesting design on earrings, not typical of what you would find in a typical retail jewelry store. The earrings appeared to be available for 80 Euro. I told my girlfriend that if she wanted them I would buy them for her. We went inside and asked to look at them. The lady who helped us brought out one set in yellow gold and another in pink gold. She told us that the design was particular to Florence and that it was in fact gold plating on top of silver not gold. My girlfriend picked the set she liked and the lady at the shop asked us if we would like to see a matching pendant and 17" chain. We agreed and decided to take the three pieces. We were told that we could get back the 20% VAT deducted from the price at the shop. I was quite pleased with this. The total for the earrings, pendant and chain came out to 210 Euros. The items were then put into a small jewelry box and the box was put into what looked like a small Lindt truffle box.

Some people (including myself) my not like the idea of gold plating over silver. My girlfriend is pleased with the pieces she selected. They are nice pieces that reminds her of our trip. We enjoyed the experience and it was a nice surprise for her. I wouldn't say that you must buy jewelry in Florence as part of your experience. It is nice however, if you can find a specific piece for a price you are willing to pay.

What to pay Prices for gold-plated silver jewelry seemed to be at a premium.

Mar 24, 2010

Gold Shopping: Fantastic Shopping Help

I have traveled extensively over the last 20 years. I love travel and I love to shop. However, I have been frustrated in many cities to find that it takes FOREVER to find the right shops with the things I love. And usually it happens to be the day we are leaving! Maren at Florenceshop4it has changed all this for me in Florence. I have shopped several times with Maren and she has taken me efficiently and joyfully to the small shops in Florence that it might have taken days for me to find. It's like having an instant best friend to help you find things that look great on you and that stand the test of time as far style. I live in a small Washington State town, Stanwood, and the first outfit I bought 4 years ago with Maren still gets tons of compliments (gray wool pleated dress and cardigan and some handmade gray suede tall boots)
The last time I shopped with Maren I bought more shoes-of course- but also a really unique gold cuff bracelet.
Maren seems to have a wonderful easy relationship with many of the store owners which results in discounts for you.
Well worth her fee in saving of time and frustration. My husband loves that I can get my shopping done quickly and then spend more time with him.

What to buy High fashion women and men's clothing, leather coats and purses, one of a kind gold jewelry and of course, shoes and boots!

What to pay This is what is so fantastic about hiring Maren. She knows what is appropriate to pay for high quality goods and also is able to get you deals.

Sep 25, 2012

Top 5 Florence Writers

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Gold Shopping: Shopping with Maren Erickson

If you are planing a trip to Florence, Italy be sure you include a shopping expedition with personal shopper Maren Erickson! Florence is a shopping mecca but can be overwhelming to a tourist who is unfamiliar with the city. We wanted to save time and money, so we contacted Maren. She asked what we were looking for and chose the perfect shops. Our favorite was a local jewelry designer with an exquisite selection. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted and Maren was very helpful and patient. She is very knowledgeable about quality and design and I am so happy with my purchases.

Maren also took us to a fabulous leather store and a scarf shop. We found just we wanted.

Maren gave us excellent dining suggestions. She and Chia joined us for a lovely dinner at Le Carceri.

Shoping with Maren and Chia made our trip to Florence complete!

Dec 29, 2012

Gold Shopping: Shopping in Florence with Maren

I found Maren just a couple of days before my trip to florence and was so pleased she was able to fit me on at relatively short notice. It was like having an old friend in a new city. Maren took me shopping the first day I was there and it was to the best places. I picked up some lovely jewelry, leather gifts, and silk scarves. She was on hand to give advise even the next couple of days that I was there! I ended up going back to the shops she had taken me to, as even after looking through and browsing at other stores, the ones Maren took me to had the best stuff in terms of quality , design and price.

May 25, 2013

Gold Shopping: Shopping with Maren

I found Maren just a couple of days before my trip to florence and was so pleased she was able to fit me on at relatively short notice. It was like having an old friend in a new city. Maren took me shopping the first day I was there and it was to the best places. I picked up some lovely jewelry, leather gifts, and silk scarves. She was on hand to give advise even the next couple of days that I was there! I ended up going back to the shops she had taken me to, as even after looking through and browsing at other stores, the ones Maren took me to had the best stuff in terms of quality , design and price.

May 25, 2013

Florence Shop 4 It: Jewelry Shopping with Maren, plus much, much more!

Having been to Florence before, I knew there were too many options and not enough time to shop for the perfect gold jewelry. I contacted Maren Erickson, US/Seatle expat, to help aid me in my Florence shopping expedition - one of the best things I did in my 8 days in Italy. Maren made an appointment to see one of the most sought after family of jewelery makers in Florence (and that they were a family of handsome Italian men was just a bonus). My girlfriend and I left the tiny shop with some of the most stunning necklaces I have ever seen. After that experience, I don't know how I will ever go back to wearing "ordinary' jewelry ever again! Just spending the time with Maren is worth a trip to Florence. She is wonderful and I couldn't bought these items with out her!

Jun 25, 2013

Things to Do Near Florence

Things to Do

Boboli Gardens - Giardini Di Boboli

The Italian Renaissance spawned not just fabulous art and architecture but gardens as well. Green spaces arranged in tightly ordered symmetry - embellished with sparkling fountains, grottos and...
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Things to Do

Basilica Santo Spirito

On our way to the church of Santo Spirito, we found a really nice local market in the piazza in front of the church on the evening we were there. It looked more like a flea market and has reasonable...
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Things to Do

Ponte Vecchio

one of the most famous Bridge around the world can be found in Florence along the banks of the Arno River. Ponte Vecchio is one of the three old bridges along the Arno River (the other ones nearby are...
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Things to Do

Chiesa Dei Santi Apostoli

We stopped in this little church, Church of the Holy Apostles, to see the architecture of a very old medieval style church. It was off the beaten path and tucked away in a very small piazza with a...
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Things to Do

Piazza degli Uffizi

The Palazzo degli Uffizi (Uffizi Palace) was built between 1560 and 1580 to house the administration of the government. The beautiful building was designed creating an U-shaped building with two long...
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Things to Do

Il Porcellino

this will be the pictures of the famous Pig Fountain in front of the Mercato Nuovo in Florence which is famous for tourists who put coins in the snout and also rub the snout to have their wishes...
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Getting to Florence


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