Have you been planning to go to a foreign country for a vacation? I would suggest you go to some fancy European country and just kick off. I am not just suggesting; I am also going to make a list for shopping in Florence, Italy. Yep, you heard it right. This post is all about Things To Do In Florence, including everything you need to know about shopping in Florence, Italy.
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and frankly, is one of the most exotic places to visit. It has the biggest collection of art and architectural masterpieces, ages old monuments, beautiful churches, islands, mountains, and streets that sell the most fashionable clothes!
How to Reach Florence
If you plan to visit Florence, there are flights that run regularly from New Delhi. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is connected to the Amerigo Vespucci International Airport at Florence. The flights are usually one stop and take about 14 to 17 hours to reach. The stops are usually in places like Munich, Barcelona or Amsterdam. If you do not want to stay at the airport for the waiting period, you can get a visa for the place where your flight is stopping and do a quick visit there as well.
Several European and other continental airlines have flights from India to Florence.
The rates are quite cheap for such a journey. If you are booking an economy class ticket, it would cost you around INR 52,000 onward for the flight, if the plane is booked one month in advance. Nearby airports are in Pisa and Bologna.
Mode of Transport in Florence
you can take an Uber and reach wherever your destination is in no time. Yes, the company has a global presence and drivers can talk in English. It is not at all problematic to just Uber around even in Florence.
you can rent a bike and cycle around the town to have some fun while you are sight-seeing. It is quite cheap and enthralling as you can get to see so much more and visit the place like a local. It is fun because you have to manage on your own, ask around and enjoy the time.
the city has many buses that run across and is well-connected. Being managed by the government thee buses run at very nominal rates. Many buses are only for the tourists and have guided tours also. You can book with one of the companies in advance or go on the spot and find what suits you the best.
Things to do In Florence
1. Visit Ufizzi Gallery
This is one of the most famous and most prominent galleries in Italy. Ufizzi has the most extensive collection of art and architectural marvels which are showcased to people as a part of their own culture and history. This place has some fantastic art masterpieces in their original form that have been preserved for so many centuries.
2. Climb the Duomo Bell Tower
Now this is quite interesting. You can take a guided tour, where the guide will tell you about when and how the tower was made. The ruler who ruled back then and the meaning of all the carvings and designs. He will then escort you to the top which is the best part of the entire tour. From this place, the city looks so serene that you would want to stay there for a long time.
3. Biblioteca delle Oblate
This is a very famous public library which is a hub for the students in the daytime but, by night it is buzzing with tourists. The library is open to the tourists as well to come in and read about the city and their country. In the evenings, there are many programs and activities taking place in the courtyard and the vicinity of this library. While you are here, you could have a snack with a cup of coffee at the Caffetteria delle Oblate.
4. Ride a Cycle
Rent a cycle and ride it through the town. You could ask for directions from the locals, try out the small cafes and stalls and relax. Soak in the atmosphere and see the city from every corner. This will be an excellent experience, trust me on that!
5. Coffee at Chiaroscuro
so, if you are someone who loves coffee you must visit this place. They sell coffee from about 15 different countries! The variety is huge and has the coziest ambiance for a nice evening.
Enjoy a day at the park, smelling roses and eating a big lunch with your family or friends. You can also strike up a conversation with the locals.
I cannot stress this enough, when you visit any part of Italy just eat all the gelato that you can and do not worry about your weight. It is one of the finest in Italy because the concept of Gelato started in Italy.
8. Leather schooling
In Santa Croce, visit the leather school and learn how all your bags, shoes, belts are made and manufactured!
9. Wine tasting
Go to Chianti vineyard and spend the entire day at the farms, crush the grapes, make some wine and drink a lot of it. The vineyards are the most amazing experiences when in places like Florence or Tuscany.
10. Florence Cathedral
Visit the cathedral in the morning. You may want to attend the morning prayers and then spend some time learning about the beliefs and the history, the cathedral as a building is also very magnificent and must be on your travel list.
Shopping in Florence
So if you are someone who would like to explore the streets of Florence and pick up some local stuff, these are the places that are an absolute hit with the people in Florence as well as the tourists –
Via de’ Tornabuoni
This street is the most famous street for shopping as this is where Salvatore Ferragamo started his business. This place has a proper area assigned for men’s and women’s wear in Palazzo Spini Feroni. Downstairs there is a museum that showcases the history of the brand Salvatore Ferragamo, and is a must visit for all the fashion buffs. It also has other high end brands like Gucci, Cartier, Versace, Pucci, Hermes, Roberto Cavalli and so, you will find a great collection here.
Via dei Calzaiuoli
It starts from Piazza del Duomo and ends at Piazza del Signoria and has the best high end brands and also, moderately priced brands. You will find designs by Chanel and by the locals here to choose from. This street also has a Disney store for the kids. If you are looking for elegant purses, Furla, which is an Italian brand, will be a good steal here.
Via del Corso
This is the market for almost everything that you would need or want. It has several boutiques that suit everyone’s pockets. It starts from Piazza del Corso and ends at Piazza del Repubblica. The well-known boutique here is Piero Puliti, it sells the best shirts and ties for men at reasonable prices. All the items are designed by Piero on his own using the finest materials from around Italy.
This place holds the biggest fairs in Italy for fashion buffs. It has people who come from various places to sell their things here, which make the places affordable for all. This fair is so good that it has beat Milan for being the fashion center!
San Lorenzo market
Now this is like the Sarojini Nagar in Delhi. It is quite close to Piazza del Duomo and is totally worth the visit. You will find small stores selling first copies, export rejects, surplus clothing, etc., at throwaway prices.
– this place is the one place where you will find antique goods and collectibles from all over Italy that date back to as old as 100 years old. You can hop in and find something to decorate in your homes. Apart from this shop, now they also have a museum to showcase the really old pieces that are not on sale anymore.
Via Santo Spirito
– this place is opposite to the Arno River and is one of the most favourite places for the locals. This place has boutiques, branded showrooms and small local shops that sell all kinds of things.
For people who wish to get jewelry from Italy, Angela Caputi is the place to visit! All the designs in the store all inspired from the Hollywood styles of the 1940s and 1950s. Most of the designs are chunky and exuberant. During the Christmas season, their jewelry has a touch of red and green precious stones.
If you are looking for some serious Gold purchases, go to Ponte Vecchio that sells the best collection. The craftsmen here are extremely skilled and will give you their best and good prices. You can also ask for custom designs.
If you want to buy some fine leather items at reasonable prices, head to the Scuola del Cuoio. This was started during the World War to teach war orphans the art of making exquisite leather products and trade. Now, the school is open to people from all over the world. They have the largest variety of bags, shoes, belts and much more at very reasonable prices.
Reach Leonardo Shoes for the biggest collection of fashionable shoes. They sell good quality products at reasonable rates. The people at the store are very friendly and will help you with the size and designs.
If you love buying accessories and amp up your clothing style, you should invest in a good pair of gloves from Madova. This place has the greatest collection of gloves for everyone. And, if you are not happy with what you see in the store, you can visit their factory and get something custom made.
Italy is known for wines, perfumes and everything that is fashionable. One store in particular, Aqua flor in Florence is said to have the biggest and the best collection of fragrances. He sells perfumes, deodorants, scented candles, bath supplies, body care supplies and fragrances for your home. If you want, you can book an appointment for custom made perfumes.
The Mercanto di Sant’Ambrogio is like the biggest supermarket that is also open air. They sell spices, meat, cheese, coffee, cocoa, clothes, jewelry and just about anything here at reasonable rates. You will also find all the exotic fruits and vegetables in this market.
The store Aprosio has the finest and the oldest collection of crystal in town. They sell earrings, bracelets, collectibles, necklaces, belts, brooches, etc. They also have a good collection of glassware.
Best Places To Eat In Florence
– north to Piazza del Duomo, lies this eatery that sells one of the best food items in town. They have the freshly-baked Breads, Pizzas and Focaccias and about over 150 types of salami, 200 types of cheese and 700 brands of wine. They also offer a wine tasting session and cooking lessons at the outlet.
– this place serves as a market on the ground floor and as a food court on the first floor. There are many eateries on the first floor that serve freshly made pasta, breads, pizzas with the best cheese in town!
Hard Rock café
– if you are looking for food from all over the world, live music and some party setting, head to this place. The Hard Rock has outlets all over the world and offers great food and ambience to all its customers.
San Lorenzo market
– to eat like a local would and not spend a lot of money on wine and dine, visit the market for the most authentic dishes and finest wines at cheap rates!