Tuscany villa rental by owner and shopping in Tuscany

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Shopping in Tuscany

Shopping in Montespertoli

Just 2 mi/3 km from Villa Tuscany, you will find in Montespertoli all the services and shops you need during your stay: post office, bank, ATM, pharmacy, butcher, fishmonger, baker, groceries, wine shops, cafes and a “COOP” supermarket. Every Tuesday morning there is an open-air market and every Saturday morning a small open-air market with ecological and organic local products.

“COOP” supermarket opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 7.30am to 1pm and from 4pm to 8pm / Friday continuously from 7.30am to 8pm /Saturday continuously from 8am to 8 pm.

 

Shopping in Florence

For the ultimate in high-end products head straight to Via Tornabuoni, the elegant pedestrian street where you can find all the big designer names and top jewelers. Exclusive boutiques can also be found in nearby Via della Vigna Nuova and Via Strozzi. Sadly some of the old traditional shops once found in this district have closed in recent years, but many historic Florentine shops can still be found in the city center. These include upscale antique shops, especially in Via dei Fossi, Via Maggio and surrounding streets, as well as charming goldsmith and jewelry shops on Ponte Vecchio bridge.

One of Florence's most characteristic shopping areas lies across the river in the Oltrarno, just across Ponte Vecchio, in the Santo Spirito neighborhood. Here in the narrow backstreets you uncover tiny bars, art studios and artisan workshops specializing in wood-carving, jewelry, paper and leather products, metalwork, lamps, etchings and many other unique, handmade items. Just a few blocks west in the nearby district of San Frediano (also in the Oltrarno area) are more workshops specializing in other Florentine traditional craft products: fabrics for furnishings, hand-made silk, hand-wrought and decorated silverware, bespoke hand-made shoes and exquisite glass objects inspired by antique designs.

 

Fashion capital

Florence, like Milan and Rome, is one of the major fashion capitals of Italy. In fact history demonstrates that many of the great names of Italian fashion first opened shop in Florence. Not surprisingly, many of these fashion houses began as makers of shoes and handbags stemming from a long local history of leatherwork, though now most of them have expanded to produce clothing and accessories.

 

Designer names

One of Italy’s most famous designers, Salvatore Ferragamo, incorporated in Florence in 1927 after having established himself as the shoemaker to the stars in Hollywood. Admired today as one of the most prestigious luxury brands, the historic Florence flagship store is set in the impressive medieval Palazzo Spini Feroni on the Via Tornabuoni. The fabulous shoe museum in the basement level is a must-see.

Another Florentine local legend is Gucci, started in 1921 by the furrier Guccio Gucci. Until the 1950s it was a traditional yet high-end producer of handbags for well-off Florentines. Over the years it transformed into a glamorous, trendy brand capturing the international market. Visit the Gucci Museum in Piazza della Signoria to learn more about the history of this local powerhouse. 

Yet another Florentine designer, Roberto Cavalli is known for his flashy prints and sexy designs. Check out his latest colorful creations at the Florentine boutique on Via Tornabuoni and grab a cappuccino at the glamorous Caffe Giacosa next-door.  

 

Leather

Leather goods don’t have to be bought at the expensive designer boutiques - in fact high-quality bags and shoes made by local artisans can be acquired all over Florence. Shops of note include Bottega Fiorentina and Il Bisonte

Or, simply head for the stalls of the outdoor market of San Lorenzo (around the eponymous church) or market of the Porcellino (near Piazza della Signoria) to pick up cheaper but well-made leather goods.

 

Textiles

Florence boasts a long history of fine textiles going back to the Middle Ages. Today the Florentine house of Emilio Pucci continues the tradition in a modern vein with bright, bold prints reminiscent of the 1960s. Exquisite hand-made fabrics can still be purchased in the city, with one of the best producers of silk still being the legendary Antico Setificio Fiorentino, established in 1786 and still utilizing hand looms. Also don’t miss the fabulous array of textiles at Casa dei Tessuti right next to the Duomo.

 

Paper

Furthermore, Florence is famous for its handmade marblized paper, incorporating techniques that go back centuries. Founded in 1856, the city’s oldest paper shop is Giulio Giannini e Figlio in Piazza Pitti 37r.

Markets in Florence

Mercato di San Lorenzo

In the heart of the city is one of Florence’s most important open-air markets, sprawling from behind Piazza S. Lorenzo to Via dell'Ariento, into the streets around the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Here you can stroll while you shop for clothing, leather, souvenirs, scarves, etc. A smaller version of a similar outdoor market is found at the Mercato del Porcellino (or Mercato Nuovo) in a loggia near the Piazza della Signoria. 

Mercato Centrale

Inside the San Lorenzo central market, in Via dell'Ariento is the city’s biggest food market. It opens every morning from 7am to 2pm, Saturday also from 4pm to 7pm, closed on Sunday and public holidays. Upstairs on the first floor is the new vast eatery featuring gourmet food stalls and shops with prepared food for take-away and eat-in, open from 10am to midnight daily. It is a lively scene with a modern vibe, perfect for a snack or meal at any time.

Mercato Sant'Ambrogio

This market features both indoor and outdoor areas, located in Piazza Ghiberti and Piazza Sant'Ambrogio. Outside you will find fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, clothes, shoes and houseware stands. Inside awaits a large selection of fresh meat and fish, pasta, general groceries and a diverse selection of farm-direct cheeses. While there have a bite to eat in their attached restaurant (inexpensive but very good). The market is open Monday-Saturday from 7am to 2pm.

Mercato delle Cascine

Situated in the vast Parco delle Cascine (the biggest park in Florence) is the city’s largest and most popular market, aimed at locals not tourists. Open every Tuesday morning from 7am to 2pm. Here you’ll find anything from fruits and vegetables and general groceries to clothing and houseware stands, antiques, shoes and much more, all at reasonable “local” (not tourist) prices.

 

Mercato delle Pulci

The renowned Flea Market of Florence is situated in Piazza dei Ciompi and open daily from 9am to 7.30pm. On the last Sunday of every month the stalls expand into the surrounding streets, adding about 100 more stands than normal. Here you can find just about everything: furniture and objects from the past, coins, prints and jewelry. It’s not uncommon, with a keen eye, to find inexpensive treasures amidst the knick-knacks and trinkets. Here you can learn something about Italy’s past in a different way from what you see in museums.

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