Florence Shopping

Window-shopping in Florence is like visiting an enormous contemporary-art gallery. Many of today's greatest Italian artists are fashion designers, and most keep shops in Florence. Discerning shoppers may find bargains in the street markets. Do not buy any knockoff goods from any of the hawkers plying their fake Prada (or any other high-end designer) on the streets.

It's illegal, and fines are astronomical if the police happen to catch you. (You pay the fine, not the vendor.)

Shops are generally open 9 to 1 and 3:30 to 7:30, and are closed Sunday and Monday mornings most of the year. Summer (June to September) hours are usually 9 to 1 and 4 to 8, and some shops close Saturday afternoon instead of Monday morning. When looking for addresses, you'll see two color-coded numbering systems on each street. The red numbers are commercial addresses and are indicated, for example, as 31/r. The blue or black numbers are residential addresses. Most shops take major credit cards and ship purchases, but because of possible delays it's wise to take your purchases with you.

The usual fashion suspects—Prada, Gucci, Versace, to name but a few—all have shops in Florence. But if you want to buy Florentine in Florence, stick to Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, and Roberto Cavalli—they’re either all native sons or adopted native sons (Salvatore Ferragamo).

The intrepid shopper might want to check out some other, lesser-known shops. For bargains on Italian designer clothing, you need to leave the city.

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Santa Maria Novella 25

The Oltrarno 10

Piazza della Repubblica 8

Santa Croce 8

Piazza della Signoria 5

Beyond the City Center 4

Around the Duomo 4

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Antiques/ Collectibles 2

Books/ Stationery 5

Clothing 17

Food/ Candy 2

Household Items/ Furniture 9

Jewelry/ Accessories 10

Outdoor/ Flea/ Green Markets 8

Outlet/ Discount Stores 3

Shoes/ Luggage/ Leather Goods 10

Textiles/ Sewing 3

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Florence Shopping

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Loretta Caponi

  • Household Items/Furniture

Synonymous with Florentine embroidery, the luxury lace, linens, and lingerie have earned the eponymous signora worldwide renown. There's...

Luisa Via Roma

  • Clothing

The surreal window displays at Luisa Via Roma hint at the trendy yet tasteful clothing inside this fascinating alta moda (high-style)...

Madova

  • Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

Complete your winter wardrobe with a pair of high-quality leather gloves, available in a rainbow of colors and a choice of linings (silk,...

Mall

  • Outlet/Discount Stores

One-stop bargain shopping awaits at this collection of stores selling goods by such names as Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Loro Piana,...

Mandragora Art Store

  • Household Items/Furniture

This is one of the first attempts in Florence to cash in on the museum-store craze. It's a lovely store with reproductions of valued...

Maçel

  • Clothing

Browse collections by lesser-known Italian designers, many of whom use the same factories as the A-list, at this women's clothing shop.

Mercato Centrale

  • Food/Candy

This huge indoor food market offers a staggering selection of all things edible. Downstairs is full of vendors hawking their wares–-meat,...

Mercato dei Fiori

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

Every Thursday morning from September through June the covered loggia in Piazza della Repubblica hosts a Mercato dei Fiori; it's awash...

Mercato del Porcellino

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

If you're looking for cheery, inexpensive trinkets to take home, you might want to stop and roam through the stalls under the loggia...

Mercato di San Lorenzo

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

The clothing and leather-goods stalls of the Mercato di San Lorenzo in the streets next to the church of San Lorenzo have bargains for...

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