Looking for a bit of shopping before the holidays? Florence is the place to go
Florence’s diverse shopping areas are the perfect place to ‘shop till you drop.
A day spent shopping in Florence is unlike anything else, especially around Christmastime. Let your eyes wander to the beauties of Florence’s architecture as you pass by glamorous shop windows; stroll through the different shopping areas to find things fit for everyone’s needs.
Florence’s shopping zones have flexible boundaries, but can be divided according to products and interests: here’s a guide for orienting yourself in the world of Florentine shopping.
The luxury shopping area
If you’re shopping for luxury items, to buy a special gift (or to treat yourself), head to the area of via de’ Tornabuoni and via della Vigna Nuova. You’ll find the most sophisticated area of Florence; with stylish shops in Renaissance palaces, it’s a mix of the latest clothing trends paired with the typical architecture of the city. Here, it won’t be hard to satisfy your desires: pick up an exclusive clothing item, a piece of exquisite jewelry or a name-brand accessory. In short, something will be sure to amaze you. But don’t be alarmed by the hefty price tags; you’ll also find more accessible options between the numerous luxury stores.
The popular shopping area
Florence’s most famous shopping area is in the heart of the historic center: via de' Calzaiuoli, via Roma, Piazza della Repubblica and the surroundings streets feature stores fit for every need. From clothing and accessories to souvenirs, books and sweets, there’s no limit to what you’ll find, offering shoppers a large selection of products at a varied price-range. You’ll find top-of-the-line luxury stores scattered amongst more affordable shops. And don’t forget the magic of Florence: you’ll be shopping in the area that for centuries has united the center of religious power with that of the city’s political sphere.
The “unconventional” shopping area
Beyond piazza della Repubblica, at a crossroads with via de' Calzaiuoli, you’ll find via del Corso. This narrow street, marked by old medieval towers (former residences of Florentine noble families), meanders away from the center and turns into Borgo degli Albizi, followed by via Pietrapiana, and eventually makes its way to the Sant'Ambrogio neighborhood. It’s here that you’ll find more unique Florentine shops (maybe a bit out of the norm) for some more unconventional shopping. You’ll leave ‘popular’ Florence behind as you browse stores selling home goods or handcrafted products, the perfect gift for if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
The “Florentine” shopping area
Heading away from Sant'Ambrogio, embarking on a scenic walk towards Porta Beccaria, you’ll find the limit of the historic center – a daring reason to journey onwards. From the old city door, you’ll find a long avenue overflowing with shops. You’ll think you’re strolling through an outdoor mall, what Florentines know as via Gioberti. A popular area for residents of Florence, via Gioberti is the central thread of the area; every day it bustles with life as locals do their daily shopping. The shops are varied in both products and quality, but most importantly, they’re more manageable for your wallet than other areas.
La “diladdarno” (across the river) shopping area
Not to miss is the Oltrarno (the area across the Arno river): a must-see for shoppers in Florence. Between via Maggio, via dei Serragli and the San Frediano and Santo Spirito neighborhoods, you’ll find more alternative shops scattered in narrow streets, high-demand shops touched by a bohemian air. If you’re looking for more alternative shopping, this is the place to go. You’ll find stylish and sophisticated jewelers flanked by artisanal workshops and antique shops, one of the city’s main attractions. If you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, head to the Oltrarno.