Once the home of history’s greatest artists, thinkers, and innovators, Florence, Italy remains a global hub of commerce and fashion. Before you head to Florence, learn where to shop, what to buy, and most importantly, find out how you can make your trip one to remember.
Souvenir Stands and Street Artists
Souvenir stands are easy to find in Florence. Whether you’re in the center of the city or exploring a side street, you’ll find a variety of gifts for you and your family. Vendors sell postcards, keychains, coffee mugs, as well as more unique items like handmade bracelets, jewelry, and leather jackets. While you’re shopping for mementos to bring home, make sure to check out the street art. Artists display their watercolor and oil paintings on street corners throughout the city. Most are relatively inexpensive and they allow you to take home a piece of the spirit and creativity that makes Florence the great city that it is.
Variety of Shops
Whether you plan on staying in Florence for a couple of days or a few weeks, set aside some time to visit the food markets. As in many cities in Italy, Florence sells delicious cured meats, olive oil, wine, and fresh vegetables and fruit. If you’re fortunate enough to have a kitchen where you’re staying, buy fresh produce, local meat, and make a meal with some of the best natural ingredients Italy has to offer. The best way to get a feel for the city is to eat and live as the locals do.
Walk Across the Ponte Vecchio
While you may brush aside Ponte Vecchio as a tourist trap at first glance, keep an open mind and give it a shot. The “Old Bridge,” as it’s called in Florence, is lined with jewelry stores and is one of the best places in the world to shop for gold, diamonds, china, and leather. The quality of these goods are top notch, but they come with a price tag to match. Do your research before you come to Florence. When spending so much money, it’s critical to determine how much you’re willing to spend. You’ll also want to be able to locate the shops with the best reputations and be able to separate the best vendors from the worst. Most of the stores on Ponte Vecchio earned their place on the bridge. However, it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead. Ponte Vecchio sits above the River Arno and provides a unique, beautiful view of the city and surrounding landscape. Even if you can’t afford to go into any of the stores, take the time to walk across one of the most iconic bridges in Europe.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Florence, Italy.