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. Angela Caputi

    Santa Maria Novella

    Angela Caputi wows Florentine cognoscenti with her highly creative, often outsize, acrylic jewelry. A small but equally creative collection of women's clothing made of fine...Read More

  • 2. Penko

    Duomo

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

  • 3. Carlo Piccini

    Piazza della Signoria

    Still in operation after four generations, this Florentine institution sells antique jewelry and makes pieces to order; you can also get old jewelry reset here....Read More

  • 4. Cassetti

    Piazza della Signoria

    This jeweler combines precious and semiprecious stones and metals in contemporary settings....Read More

  • 5. Gatto Bianco

    Santa Maria Novella

    This contemporary jeweler has breathtakingly beautiful pieces featuring semiprecious and precious stones....Read More

  • 6. Gherardi

    Piazza della Signoria

    Florence's king of coral, Gherardi has the city's largest selection of finely crafted pieces, as well as cultured pearls, jade, and turquoise....Read More

  • 7. Oreria

    Santa Croce

    The two women who run Oreria create divine designs using silver and semiprecious stones. Send suitors to purchase significant gifts here....Read More

  • 8. Oro Due

    Piazza della Signoria

    Gold jewelry and other beauteous objects are priced according to the level of craftsmanship and the value of gold bullion that day....Read More

  • 9. Tiffany

    Santa Maria Novella

    One of Florence's oldest jewelers has supplied Italian (and other) royalty with finely crafted gems for centuries. Its selection of antique-looking classics has been updated...Read More

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