From vintage finds to high fashion hot spots.
The streets of Florence are filled with style inspiration, so it’s no wonder this city is a shopper’s paradise. Florentines are so impeccably dressed that it’s impossible to visit without getting the shopping bug. My friends and I quickly realized that yoga pants and a hoodie would garner a noticeable amount of less-than-admiring stares from locals. That’s not to say that everyone walks around town in designer duds all day long, but what makes Florentines’ style impressive is that it always looks like they’re wearing something high-end and enviable. There is no lack of individuality in their style either—for every pair of Gucci loafers that strut by, there will be a pair of well-worn vintage boots following close behind. This wide range of pure style coolness is directly reflected in the city’s shopping scene, which truly has something for everyone.
I highly recommend allocating for some shopping time in your Florence itinerary and budget. I guarantee you will find some beautiful and unique pieces, no matter your desired price range. Because the task of shopping in a fashion haven like this can be a bit daunting, I’ve outlined three essential shopping areas in Florence that you must check out. Whether you’re excited to see what local vendors have to offer, dying to get your hands on some vintage finds, or looking to hit up some high fashion hot spots, I’ve got you covered.
1. San Lorenzo Market
Although this is a fashion shopping guide, the San Lorenzo Market, commonly known as the Central Market, is a cultural experience in the fullest sense. This expansive market offers fresh Italian meats, produce, pastas, and everything in between, as well as great souvenir goods such as wine stoppers and olive oil bottles. Come for the food, but stay for the fashion! You’ll scour rows and rows of vendors offering all things leather: jackets, bags, wallets, belts, you name it. Most vendors offer practically identical products, so be sure to look around and find the best version of whatever interests you. And don’t be afraid to haggle—it is absolutely expected in this environment! If you feel like you’re not getting a fair price, move on and find the same thing in a different booth! While all of the vendors will claim to be selling genuine Italian leather, this may be worth questioning. A good rule of thumb: if you don’t think you’re getting a good deal, walk away. Now have fun looking around, because there’s a lot to see here!
2. Vintage Shops on Via dei Serragli & Via Nazionale
These streets are by no means the only places to find great vintage and thrift stores in Florence, but they’re great place to start! There’s a something extra special about finding a piece with a history behind it, especially while visiting someplace new. Via dei Serragli is home to Recollection, a cozy shop with fascinating and unique pieces, and Ceri Vintage just a few steps away, with cool vibes and fun yet timeless clothes. You’ll find Melrose Vintage on Via Nazionale, a seemingly never-ending shop packed with everything from retro sundresses and bathing suits, to awesome denim and leather jackets, to fantastic leather shoes, and everything in between. I never wanted to leave this place, and I wanted it all—a must visit for all vintage and thrift lovers.
3. High Fashion Shops on Via de’ Tornabuoni
If you’re looking to spend the big bucks on Florence’s iconic luxury brands, this is the street for you. This swanky area boasts the quintessentially Florentine Gucci store, as well as Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci just to name a few. If you need a little more incentive to do some high end shopping in Florence, remember that you can find designer pieces here for significantly less than American prices, and most pricey purchases can be made duty free. See, I knew that would catch your attention! However, if you’re still not trying to break the bank, the awe-inspiring concentration of stunning shops on this street is worth at least window-shopping. After all, Florence’s fashion is some of its greatest art!