Shopping in Florence

Designer labels in Via Tornabuoni

By Nicky Swallow, your Florence expert

I write for Charming Small Hotel Guide .... Read more

Where to shop in Florence

For a small city, Florence can boast a remarkably varied shopping scene. Gone are the days when it was a retail backwater; Renaissance City is now a place where you will find everything from the latest designer labels to a pair of handmade gloves to a fresh truffle, with a whole lot in between. And all within an easily-negotiable radius.

The unique side to Florence’s shopping scene is its long history of artisan craftsmanship. You can read about this, and more, in my three shopping guides:

Shopping in Florence: fashion and shoes
Shopping in Florence: for foodies
Shopping in Florence: the Artisans

Practicalities  

  • Opening hours - many of the big shops in central Florence stay open all day from 10am-7.30pm with slightly shorter hours on Sundays; some of these will stay closed on Monday mornings. Smaller shops close at lunchtimes from 1pm to 3.30-4pm and are closed on Sundays. In July and August, they tend to close on Saturday afternoons so everyone can go to the beach. Fair enough, no?
  • Sales - there are two main sales periods in Florence; January/February (usually starting on Jan 7th, just after the holidays finish) and July/August. Initial discounts are usually quite generous, but if you hold off for several weeks, real bargains can be found.
  • Counterfeit goods - if you spend any time wandering around the centre of Florence, you will be bound to come across African guys selling fake bags and sunglasses. These items are remarkably convincing and quite reasonable (especially if you bargain hard), but unfortunately they are illegal to both sell and buy. If you get caught, you will face a hefty fine.

For more expert advice on Florence, follow these links:

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Destination: Florence
Trip type: Shopping, Short Break
This guide takes you through the areas of Florence where you will find the best choice of stores selling clothes, shoes and accessories. ... read more »
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