Florence as a shopping city? Of course!
For top-of-the-range products the place to start is Via Tornabuoni, once the city's refined salotto buono, where you can find all the big designer names and top-class jewellers. Chic purchases can also be made in nearby Via della Vigna Nuova. Unfortunately, some of the traditional old shops that used to be located in these streets have closed in recent years. However, many traditional Florentine shops of historic status can still be found in the city centre. These range from antiques' shops packed with riches, especially in Via dei Fossi, Via Maggio and the surrounding streets, to the characteristic goldsmiths' and jewellery shops on Ponte Vecchio.
One of Florence's most characteristic shopping areas starts in the Oltrarno, immediately after Ponte Vecchio, in the Santo Spirito neighbourhood. Here you can find small bars, craft studios and workshops specializing in wood products, jewellery, lamps, metal vases, but also hat shapes in wood, classic Florentine straw hats and many other original items. Concentrated in the nearby neighbourhood of San Frediano, also in the Oltrarno, are some of the workshops specializing in Florence's greatest and most traditional craft products: fabrics for furnishings, hand-wrought and decorated silverware, hand-made shoes and glass objects inspired by antique designs.
Florence is also famous for the manufacturing of leather goods: bags, shoes, clothing items. The leather shops are mainly clustered in the Santa Croce area.
Some real finds can also be had, with a bit of luck, in the flea market in Piazza dei Ciompi. The Mercato del Porcellino (so named after a statue of a wild boar that can be found there) in Via Calimala was once known chiefly for its straw items, but now also sells various leather and hand-embroidered articles.
Find special shopping suggestions in the links below