Welcome to Florence, home of historic architecture, leather work, renaissance art, and one-of-a-kind items. Italian cities like Milan and Rome are hailed for their fashion boutiques and brand-name luxury stores. Still, Florence is considered an essential destination for a quirky and timeless shopping experience.
That's why we're breaking down our top 7 must-see shopping spots while visiting the City of Lilies. You'll find no shortage of artisan crafts, outstanding pieces, and modern classics. Book a private tour with our local guides and enjoy some Florentine retail therapy to get the best out of your shopping adventure.
Let's kick things off at the legendary Fratelli Piccini, a world-renowned jewelry shop nestled between the vibrant stalls along the Ponte Vecchio bridge. It's where Florence's unique craftsmanship meets modern jewelry trends. Handed down from generation to generation, the Fratelli Piccini has been in operation since 1903 and is rich with Florentine history, culture, and aesthetics. You're instantly transported to the luxurious Medici era when Ferdinando I de' Medici remodeled the bridge's shops, replacing them with goldsmiths and jewelers to "elevate" the area.
Thanks to gemologist and CEO Elisa Tozzi Piccini, you'll enjoy a wide selection of masterful pieces. Beyond in-house works, Fratelli Piccini holds items from well-known jewelers such as Mimikoto, Messika, Patek Philippe, Vhernier, and Corum.
Ready for your taste buds to experience a burst of international flavor? Our guides will steer your culinary journey towards the Vestri Cioccolato, where rich Caribbean cacao meets Italian chocolate artistry. Chewy nut bars, sweet pralines, and chocolate-dipped dried fruit fill the small shop. Clearly, Vestri knows its stuff. The perfect blend of salt and sweetness in every bite, it's chocolate at its most elevated state.
The mid-century designs on the wrapping paper are curated to enhance the buyer's experience. For over thirty years, the family behind Vestri has used ethically sourced cacao to create bold flavors like white chocolate with sea salt and sesame. Be sure to purchase one of their famous love bites, an assorted box of 38, 16, or 12 hand-designed pralines highlighting the most beloved Vestri flavors. White chocolate. It's the perfect gift; just ensure you don't eat them all before returning home!
Music lovers, gather around! It's time to celebrate the beauty of vinyl, and there's no better place to start than this iconic shop. Enter the pop-punk side of life with Florence's most recognizable record label and store. From the moment you step through the colorful entrance, you're met with classic works from the New Wave, Progressive, Psychedelic, Folk, and Heavy Rock eras. You'll also find albums from the Italian Beat music made famous in the 1960s and a curated collection of experimental and contemporary works.
The great thing about touring such an established historic location is the intimacy. You'll feel right at home as you negotiate prices and chat about the many Italian and international musicians and record executives who have visited the shop. They're open Monday to Thursday from 10:30am to 7:30pm, and on the weekends, you can pop in from 10:30am to 4:30pm.
If you've never thought about getting a signature scent, now's the time to treat yourself! You'll fall in love with fragrance at Aquaflor Firenze, also known as the house of perfumes. Founded by expert perfumer Nicola Bianchi, Aquaflor is a custom atelier that allows you to sample, curate, and create your own scent.
In each of the three rooms lies a different olfactory experience inspired by antique Florentine tradition. You can also choose from an array of pre-mixed scents by Bianchi himself. If that's not luxurious enough, Aquaflor has expanded its artistry into high-end soaps and skincare, so you'll walk away with a complete set of customized beauty products. This shop is pretty hidden, and you could walk past it without knowing, so get in touch with a GoWithGuide expert to book a hassle-free experience.
Bottega Veneta Firenze
Next, we're heading to Bottega Veneta to take a walk on Florence's luxurious side. Located along the Via Delhi Strozzi, a street known for housing high-end fashion shops like the Louis Vuitton store and five-star hotels like the Palazzo Tornabuoni, Bottega Veneta is the definition of Italian retail excellence. From sunglasses, perfume, and jewelry, to iconic Florentine leather crafts and clothing, you'll find it all here.
Born in northern Italy's Vincenza region, Bottega has been around since 1966, emphasizing traditional Italian craftsmanship. The leather-covered door handles highlight the brand’s attention to detail, giving Bottega international fashion status. Once inside, you'll have two full floors to explore the array of shoes, wallets, and accessories. Suppose you're looking for a timeless piece, the recently released "Bottega" series revisits classic archival pieces, including leather woven bags and other exclusive items.
Piazza Santa Croce
Now it's time for Florence's market culture, arguably the best in the Tuscan region. Overlooked by the Basilica di Santa Croce, this is one of Florence's most famous squares. It's hard to believe that these grounds used to be marshlands before the church was constructed. Today it hosts a series of open-air markets, including the whimsical chocolate festival and annual Christmas market that's usually packed by November's end. The square transforms into a winter wonderland with several wooden houses displaying holiday goods.
It’s a great place to discover unique holiday gifts, and you might catch a live concert or two if you’re lucky. If you have some extra time, stroll towards the San Lorenzo market. Here you'll find an impressive collection of leather bags, shoes, wallets, belts, and so on from several authentic Italian leather smiths.
The Mercato Nuovo
Capping off our list is this trendy market housed in a Florentine monument. It's hard to miss the medieval arches and smooth pillars of the Mercato Nuovo. Think of it as a modern take on the classic San Lorenzo leather district. Located between popular tourist spots like the Piazza Della Republicca and the Piazza Della Signoria, you'll find a wide array of bags, trinkets, shoes, belts, and jewelry.
Beyond classic Florentine art, the Mercato Nuovo, locally known as the Mercato Porcellino, has a lot of ceramic works detailing iconic figures in Florence's history. Don't forget to take a picture with the bronze Porcellino pig, an iconic image of the Renaissance.