Florence is a city famous not only for art, history and architecture, but also for the unique shopping opportunities. From high-end fashion boutiques to leather markets and historical perfumery stores – there is something for everyone!
Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
Located at via della Spada 16. http://www.smnovella.it/
Founded in 1612, this is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Items you will find for sale include elixirs (liquors), tonic waters, candles, perfumes and teas (they even have a tea room).
Set aside 30 minutes of your time to browse through each beautiful room and look at some of the historical instruments used by the monks that originally created remedies for the people of Florence.
No visit to Florence is complete without a visit to these leather markets:
Porcellino Market – Named after the ‘wild boar’ statue that brings you good luck if you rub his nose, you’ll find everything from scarves, purses, leather wallets, souvenirs (some not made in Italy) and much more. It is located in piazza Mercato Nuovo, inside the Loggia del Porcellino.
San Lorenzo Market – Right off of via nazionale and the mercato centrale, you’ll find the Mercato di San Lorenzo. You should set aside at least an hour to peruse. It is similar to the Porcellino Market, but larger. One piece of advice: First go through the entire market, ask what the prices are, then take a mental note of your favorite stands. Stop by again to make your purchase and only accept if you feel comfortable – bargaining with the vendor is encouraged. Another thing to note is that there numerous leather stores in the city as well, so if the market doesn’t work out for you, stop in at a store. Again, you can ask for a ‘sconto’, discount at any time. It doesn’t hurt to try.
To really get to know a culture, you need to know the food. The Mercato Centrale will give you a real ‘taste’ of what life is like for the Florentines who do their daily shopping for fresh produce, meat and fish. Although the smells can be a bit overwhelming at times, it is still absolutely worth checking out. The building itself is quite simple architecturally speaking. Some of the vendors inside have been working there for generations and the tradition will go on for many more to come.
There is something magical about an old book. Here is the right place to find a true gem. Abacus in Via Ginori 28-30r.
Can you guess what’s the most sought after items in Florence? Yes, Gold Jewelry.
The best Italy’s goldsmiths concentrate in Florence indeed, and the gold dealers on the Ponte Vecchio are world famous. Here you still find artisans creating jewelry with their bare hands, unique pieces sold all over the world. In Florence there is also a School solely dedicated to the study of Gold Jewelery making, “Le Arti Orafe”. Objectively speaking, the quality of gold jeweler in Florence is very high. You can find little artisans shops in the city center (for example the famous Paolo Penko, in Via Ferdinando Zannetti, 14/16), or visit the famous Gold Market on Ponte Vecchio.
Try our Personal shopper in Florence!