Florence

Window-shopping in Florence is like visiting an enormous contemporary art gallery. Many of today's greatest Italian artists are fashion designers, and most keep shops in Florence. Discerning shoppers may find bargains in the street markets. Do not buy any knockoff goods from any of the hawkers plying their fake Prada (or any other high-end designer) on the streets. It's illegal, and fines are astronomical if the police happen to catch you. (You pay the fine, not the vendor.)

Shops are generally open 9 to 1 and 3:30 to 7:30, and are closed Sunday and Monday mornings most of the year. Summer (June to September) hours are usually 9 to 1 and 4 to 8, and some shops close Saturday afternoon instead of Monday morning. When looking for addresses, you'll see two color-coded numbering systems on each street. The red numbers are commercial addresses and are indicated, for example, as 31/r. The blue or black numbers are residential addresses. Most shops take major credit cards and ship purchases, but because of possible delays it's wise to take your purchases with you.

The usual fashion suspects—Prada, Gucci, Versace, to name but a few—all have shops in Florence. But if you want to buy Florentine in Florence, stick to Gucci, Pucci, and Ferragamo.

Bargains on Italian designer clothing can be found outside the city.

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  • 1. Baroni

    San Lorenzo

    The cheese selection at Baroni may be the most comprehensive in Florence. It also sells high-quality truffle products, vinegars, and other delicacies, many of which...Read More

  • 2. Penko

    Duomo

    Renaissance goldsmiths provide the inspiration for this dazzling jewelry with a contemporary feel....Read More

  • 3. Perini

    San Lorenzo

    It's possible to break the bank at what might be the best salumeria in Florence. Perini sells prosciutto, mixed meats, sauces for pasta, and a...Read More

  • 4. furò e punteruolo

    Paolo Fattori and his wife, Luisa, handcraft exquisite, one-of-a-kind bags and other leather accessories at this one-room store and workshop....Read More

  • 5. Mercato Centrale

    San Lorenzo

    This huge indoor food market offers a staggering selection of all things edible. Downstairs is full of vendors hawking their wares—meat, fish, fruit, vegetables—upstairs (daily...Read More

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  • 6. Mercato di San Lorenzo

    The clothing and leather-goods stalls of the Mercato di San Lorenzo in the streets next to the church of San Lorenzo have bargains for shoppers...Read More

  • 7. via de'Ginori 23/r

    Family-run and operated, this shop sells beautifully handcrafted leather items just down the street from the Basilica of San Lorenzo....Read More

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