Shopping in Florence, Italy

Guest Post By: Karen Mills 

While visiting the many wonderful historical sites and museums in Florence, many want to take

advantage of the tremendous shopping opportunities for wonderful Italian designs. There is no

shortage of opportunities in Florence!

Ferragamo Shoe Museum, Florence ItalyFor the really high end designer stores, head to elegant via Tournabouni. Starting at the river near

Ponte Santa Trinita, you will find the Palazzo Spini Feroni, which now houses Salvatore Ferragamo.

Alongside the retail merchant of Ferragamo, there is a shoe museum housing all of the creations of

Ferragamo, including those for his most famous clients, such as Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn. If

you head north towards Palazzo Strozzi you will find Prada, Bulgari, Gucci, Cavalli, Pucci, Burberry, and

more. There is even a Tiffany’s!

If you don’t spend all of your money there, or prefer more moderate options, there are plenty of those.

Mercato Centrale Florence, ItalyThere are three major Italian department stores in Florence, OVS, Rinascente, and Coin. Rinascente

is the high end, Coin, more moderate, and OVS the lower end. OVS is located near the train station of

Santa Maria Novella on via Panzani. Rinascente is located on Piazza della Repubblica and Coin on via

Calzaioli. All of these department stores carry the latest Italian fashions and have huge sales in August

and January.

If you have time to take a day trip just outside of Florence, consider going to the Barbarini Outlets. You

can take the SITA bus from the station adjacent to Santa Maria Novella, and spend a few hours there. It

is an open style outlet mall with all the designer names.

Street Shopping San Lorenzo Market Florence, ItalyOne of the most famous places to shop in Florence, and definitely the oldest is the Mercato San

Lorenzo. This is located in the San Lorenzo area and is a street full of vendors selling leather bags,

jackets, wallets, belts, purses, clothes, watches, and jewelry. You can also find leather bound photo

albums, diaries, handmade glass items and souvenirs. Be sure to bargain with the vendors for the best

price available. It is expected! If your time is too short to make a trip into San Lorenzo, try the Nuovo

Mercato, located in Piazza di Porcellino, near the Ponte Vecchio. You will find that the selection is not as

large, and the prices will be a little higher.

If you are looking for food gifts to return to friends and family, or something for a picnic, stop in Mercato

Shops of San Lorenzo Market, Florence, ItalyCentrale, also located in San Lorenzo. This market houses many small shops selling fresh meat, poultry,

fish, and vegetables, but also Italian delicacies such as prosciutto, salami, pecorino cheeses, olive

oils, pastas, and balsamic vinegar. There are wine shops and small restaurants where you can get a

sandwich. Even if you aren’t in the market for buying food items, go in and take a look at a great part of

the Italian market culture in Florence.

There are many artisans and small boutiques throughout the city of Florence and across the river in the

Oltrarno district. These small boutiques sell one of a kind fashion at a variety of price levels. There are

also the internationally famous stores for the younger set such as Zara, and H & M, also located on via

Calzaioli. Happy shopping!

For more information on Florence sites, visit

Karen Mills is an American woman who made the decision to leave her corporate life behind to live “la dolce vita” in Florence, Italy, Read more about her experiences at An American In Italy or contact her at

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Guest Post By: Karen Mills

Have you traveled to Florence? Visited other parts of Italy? Do you have any advice or recommendations for our readers?


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