Florence Shopping Tips by brendareed

Florence Shopping: 256 reviews and 254 photos

convenient 7-11 type store - Florence
De Spar: convenient 7-11 type store

You’ll see DeSpar around town – it is a quick convenience store (like a 7-11) where you can get foods and necessities quickly. I liked to stop in here for water and soda since they are cheaper here than in a café or bar. They also have cheeses, meats and breads, but if you want a larger selection, then you should head to a larger grocer or the markets.

NOTE: They typically have a refrigerator with cold sodas and water by the door as you first walk in. These are more expensive than going to the back of the store and getting the non-refrigerated one. If you have a refrigerator in your hotel, this is a great option to take back with you and chill for the next day.

The DeSpar I went to was at the corner near the front of the San Lorenzo Church on Piazza di San Lorenzo. They were open pretty late in the evening – pretty much whenever I went they were open. If you take your own bag, you won’t have to pay for a bag (not expensive - about 12 cents, but if you don’t have to, why buy it?).

Directions: in the Piazza di San Lorenzo - next to the statue (but there are others in Florence)

Theme: Food and Drink

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 9, 2014
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local grocer - Florence
Conrad City: local grocer

This grocer quickly became my favorite stop for a quick lunch or light evening meal when I didn’t feel like going out to a café. It was a medium sized grocery store (but much smaller than what many of us are used to) that had just about everything you could want. I would come in here to pick up fruit and cheese as well as juice for a light meal. Happily, I found out early in the week that if you go in at about 7 pm, the baguettes are fresh and warm!

There is a good meat selection and a service deli for cheeses and other delights. In the back is small wine and beer section, laundry detergents, and cookies/candies.

Be sure to bag and weigh your produce before going to the register – look for the number on the sign where you get the item and push that number on the scale. It will give you a sticker to put on the produce bag.

Take you own bags if you don’t want to pay for them – only eight cents each, but if you have bags, then you can save a little bit. I found that most items here were cheaper than the DeSpar shops (at least the things I bought).

The grocer is located around the corner from the Medici Chapel and not far from the train station on Via Del Melarancio. They are closed on Sundays but otherwise stay open later into the evening.

Address: Via Del Melarancio, 7/9

Directions: San Lorenzo S.R.L., Via Del Melarancio, 7/9, one block from Medici Chapel and train station

Phone: +39 055 293 010

Theme: Food and Drink

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 9, 2014
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Anglo-American art books cheap - Florence
Paperback Exchange: Anglo-American art books cheap

This is a wonderful little shop that sells quality second hand (and new) art books in English at really good prices. Our instructor, who lives in Florence, made a special trip to point it out to us. After looking around, we found our textbook in there, brand new, for half of what we paid for it. Needless to say, after that we were sold on the place!

They have paperbacks and hardbacks, not just art books, but all kinds of books; and the titles are continuously changing.

The shop is located really close to the Cathedral at the end of Via delle Oche, not too far from the Bargello. They are open Monday through Friday from 9:00–7:30 and on Saturdays 10:30-7:30.

Address: Via delle Oche, 4R - Florence, Italy

Phone: +39 055 293 460

Theme: Books

Website: http://www.papex.it/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 9, 2014
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Mercato Nuovo - Florence
Mercato Nuovo: Mercato Nuovo Mercato Nuovo Review

Near Orsanmichele and Piazza della Repubblica is the Mercato Nuovo, held under an old loggia. This sells the same things as the other markets, but it is in a very central location for tourists. I saw lots of scarves and tourist trinkets, as well as clothing items for sale. The ambiance of the old covered marketplace and loggia sets this market apart from the rest.

And be sure to rub the boar’s snout for good luck while there!

Directions: Coming north from the Ponte Vecchio taking the Via por Santa Maria the market is on your left side in Calimala

Theme: Women's Clothes

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 9, 2014
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San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale - Florence
Mercato Centrale: San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale Mercato Centrale Review

Just down the street from San Lorenzo is the large building that houses the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, Florence’s central market. This indoor market is open Monday through Friday from 0700 to 1400 and Saturdays from 0700 to 1700. I wandered around this market on Saturday morning and enjoyed just watching the locals do their shopping, lining up for meats, cheeses, produce, or breads. It had a loud, boisterous atmosphere as the shopkeepers called out to their customers about daily specials.

Address: Mercato Centrale

Directions: Near San Lorenzo

Theme: Food and Drink

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 9, 2014
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San Lorenzo Market - Florence
San Lorenzo Market: San Lorenzo Market San Lorenzo Market Review

As you walk down the streets of Florence, you have no lack of shopping opportunities. Not only are there lots of shops, but there are also street markets that sell just about anything you are looking for. Many of these vendors seem to sell leather goods, scarves, and tourist items (like those boxer shorts with Michelangelo’s David strategically placed on them or handbags that scream “Firenze” in multicolors).

In front of our hotel was the San Lorenzo market, which was open every day of the week. Vendors have the same locations each day and we would chat with them as we waited for our classmates to join us for the morning excursion. According to our instructor, the best deals from these vendors were the lined leather gloves. Others in my class purchased scarves and jackets. At least one classmate had to return to the vendor for a quality issue, but other than that, there were no complaints about the items or the prices. Prices are rather competitive between vendors and they will haggle with you on the larger items.

Directions: The San Lorenzo Market is located around the San Lorenzo church on Via del canto de Nelli, Via dell Ariento and Via Sant Antonino (every day from 9.00 to 19.30).

Theme: Women's Clothes

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 9, 2014
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