Florence Shopping Tips by brendareed Top 5 Page for this destination
Florence Shopping: 251 reviews and 250 photos
warm baguettes at night!
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.
In the afternoon, we were heading to the other side of the Arno River. We crossed over the oldest bridge in Florence, and the one with the character: the Ponte Vecchio.
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
Anglo-American Paperback Exchange
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.
I had to get back to the hotel for our class lecture and I spent all my time taking photos, so I quickly grabbed some fruit and cheese at the Conrad City, a local grocer that I frequently used while in Florence.
Address: Via delle Oche, 4R - Florence, Italy
Phone: +39 055 293 460
convenience store for quick stops
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?).
After a good night’s sleep, we got an early start – lots of territory to cover today in Florence. We started with a walk over to the Church of Santa Croce. While in the piazza in front of the church, we had a look at the homes near Santa Croce.
Directions: in the Piazza di San Lorenzo - next to the statue
Phone: +39 055 293 421
Theme: Food and Drink
inside the Mercato Centrale
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.
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.
Near Orsanmichele and Piazza della Repubblica is the Mercato Nuovo, held under a old loggia. This sells the same things as the other markets, but it is in a very central location for tourists. And be sure to rub the boar’s snout while there!
While shopping around in Florence, you’ll probably see Pinocchio and his long nose for sale in a number of shops. Find out why in my next tip about Pinocchio.
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
More Reviews (84)
- See All Michelangelo in Florence
- See All Santo Spirito Market
- See All purchasing museum tickets online
- See All Parking in Florence
- See All Love locks on the bridge
brendareed's Related Pages
Florence Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "weekends in Florence"
- "FIRENZE - FLORENCE"
- "My Relationship With Firenze"
- "Firenze -Florence - Florenz - Florencia"
- "Breathtaking Florence!"
- "Fabulous Florence"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Florence
- Hotels in Florence
- Transportation in Florence
- Nightlife in Florence
- Restaurants in Florence
- Shopping in Florence
- Warnings and Dangers in Florence
- See All...
Explore the World
- Ross Carbery Hotels
- Spanish Harbor Keys Hotels
- Penampang Hotels
- Calaca Hotels
Badges & Stats in Florence
- 88 Reviews
- 311 Photos
- 6 Forum posts
- 4 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (49)
Have you been to Florence?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Florence
- Posted in Travel Garmisch-Partenkirchen Forum "Re: getting around "
- Commented on one of brendareed's Florence travel pages
- updated a Florence Travel Page "weekends in Florence"
- Wrote a Review Michelangelo in Florence about Where to find Great Works of Art in Florence Favorites
- Uploaded a Photo to "Michelangelo in Florence"
Photos in FlorenceSee All Photos (311)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Rome Intro, 100 reviews, 439 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Florence Intro, 88 reviews, 311 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Nürnberg Intro, 52 reviews, 196 photos, 2 travelogues
- Italy Intro, 43 reviews, 196 photos
- Berlin Intro, 49 reviews, 147 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Mainz Intro, 37 reviews, 151 photos, 3 travelogues
- Alsfeld Intro, 43 reviews, 143 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Strasbourg Intro, 28 reviews, 125 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Vatican City Intro, 31 reviews, 119 photos, 2 travelogues
- Sicilia Intro, 26 reviews, 115 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (29)
Latest Florence hotel reviews
- Jolly Hotel Florence
- 149 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 21, 2013
- Holiday Inn Florence
- 136 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 12, 2013
- Hotel David
- 1324 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 2, 2013
- Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni
- 482 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Hotel Balestri
- 250 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 21, 2013
- Suore Oblate dell'Assunzione
- 19 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 25, 2013
- Hotel Spagna
- 60 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 29, 2013
- Bernini Palace by Baglioni Hotels
- 399 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- Casa Rabatti
- 48 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 24, 2013
- Campeggio Michelangelo
- 118 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 16, 2013
- Casa Santo Nome di Gesu
- 51 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 28, 2013
- Albergotto Hotel
- 53 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013
- Bonciani Hotel
- 77 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 29, 2013
- Soggiorno Magliani
- 9 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 12, 2012
- Il Salviatino
- 286 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 29, 2013
- Il Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore- 265 Reviews, 543 Photos
- Ponte Vecchio & Arno River- 203 Reviews, 344 Photos
- The Uffizi Gallery- 160 Reviews, 222 Photos
- Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens- 125 Reviews, 263 Photos
- David Statue- 85 Reviews, 101 Photos
- Piazza della Signoria- 115 Reviews, 232 Photos
- Palazzo Vecchio- 76 Reviews, 150 Photos
- Piazalle Michelangelo- 61 Reviews, 114 Photos
- Basilica Santa Croce- 94 Reviews, 169 Photos
- Galleria dell'Accademia- 57 Reviews, 61 Photos
See All Florence Things to Do