Shopping and Eating in Florence, Italy
Florence is one of the largest cities in the country of Italy.
Shopping in Florence
Florence is known for its craft traditions. You will find very skilled craftsmen producing leather goods, hardware, gold and silver jewelery and much more of the best quality around Florence defined by AbbreviationFinder. Also when it comes to the latest screams of fashion!
There are still some very old shops in Florence, such as Antica Officina di Santa Maria Novella, one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. The store has roots back to the 16th century. You will find the ancient pharmacy in the convent of the church of Santa Maria Novella. The street address is Via della Scala, 16 and here you are not far from Florence’s major railway station (SN Novella).
Along the Ponte Vecchio bridge you will find Florence’s famous goldsmith shops. The bridge is an attraction in itself (read about the fantastic Ponte Vecchio here) and the shops nearby offer great jewelry.
Great shoe stores are scattered around the city. The same goes for the food and wine stores, which offer the highest quality products. Look especially for olive oil, which you will not find anywhere else in the world.
We also recommend a visit to the San Lorenzo market. Here you will find virtually all types of products in addition to a very lively atmosphere. Watch out for pickpockets! The heart of the San Lorenzo market is of course the Piazza del Mercato Centrale and it is only a short distance east of the train station (SN Novella).
Some special shopping tips in Florence!
There are good shoes shops in Florence. And the prices range from very reasonable to very expensive. Valentina is probably another shoe store in the middle of this scale. Here are all types of shoes and boots, and we think no one is intimidated by prices and type of shoes. Valentina Shoes can be found in Via Nazionale, 98, a street that passes the SM Novella train station. In other words, it is located just outside where the tourist stream goes. But it does allow you to secure the shoes the others did not find!
If you have a deep wallet and looking for the trendiest then look for shoe stores near the dome, preferably heading south towards the river Arno.
There are many tourists who love this bookstore. One reason, of course, is that you can buy quantities of books in English, also used, and these are very affordable. The Paperback Exchange is located on Via delle Oche, 4 right by the Duomo, and is open from 0900 to 1900 every day except Sundays where it is closed.
At Piazza de ‘Pitti, 29 you may find the best sports shop in Florence. Or more correctly, first and foremost, Sportando is a sports clothing store. Some find it a little too expensive. Either way, fun to see how to dress when you pursue active leisure!
Solo and Florence
At Borgo Santissimi Apostoli, 37, on the north side of Arno and between the Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Santa Trinita bridges, you will find the store that claims to have the best handicraft products in Florence. Here are jewelry and gift items. And not too expensive either. Open every day of the week except Sundays where it is closed. NB Siesta in the middle of the day, usually 1330 to 1500.
Outlet stores outside Florence
Want to buy top designer clothes at a reasonable price? Then you have the opportunity to visit outlet stores with clothing from Prada, Gucci and many more. The shopping trips last up to nine hours and include shipping to and from the store. Read more here ! You can also take the train to Rignano Sull’Arn o (about 30 km outside Florence). The address is Via Europa 8 (Leccio Regello).
In general about shopping in Florence
The stores are usually open from 10am. From 0930 to 1330 and from. 1530 to 2000, but this varies. Most shops are closed on Sundays, although there are exceptions. On Mondays, some shopping centers and clothing stores open later, but most close early on Thursdays.
Tax Free Shopping in Florence
Don’t forget that you pay 20% VAT and on all purchases over 155 euros, or approx. 1250 NOK, you can get a refund of the VAT on departure. Not all businesses have this scheme on their sale, so look for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the entrance if you are going to buy some more expensive items and bring a completed and stamped form and receipt.
NB! It might be tempting to buy a copy of a brand from one of the many African illegal immigrants that you are sure to come across. But be aware that in many places Italian police have given up trying and fining the sellers, as they often have neither money nor ID papers. But it has YOU. Civilian-clad policemen are therefore keeping a close eye on street vendors, and if they see that you are buying a pirate copy of, for example. a Louis Vutton case or Rolex watch at a fraction of the price, you should expect to receive a staggering fine of the order of $ 25,000-30000.
Eating in Florence
The region around Florence has a varied cuisine, and traditionally there are simple dishes with the best ingredients. Olive oil, bread and fresh vegetables are solid ingredients.
The top for many is the dish fiorentina, a piece of meat from the cure chianina, which is world renowned for its great quality. Fiorentina can be purchased at any Florence restaurant.
Florence and wine can be summed up with Chianti. There are mainly four types of Chianti wine: Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, Chianti Colli Fiorentini and Chianti Montespertoli. What’s your favourite?
Usually dinner in Italy starts at. 2000, but in Florence it is not uncommon for restaurants to have dinner ready earlier because of all the tourists. Here are some restaurants we can recommend:
Giannino in San Lorenzo
The Giannino restaurant is located on Via Borgo San Lorenzo 33-37 street in a 16th century building. Giannino has a lot of Tuscan food on the menu, and if you want to eat the famous Florentine steak fiorentina, this is the place. It is possible to book a table online.
The restaurant is located just north of the Domen in Florence and is usually open all week from 1100 to 2330.
La Pentola dell’Oro
You will find this nice restaurant “Pot of Gold” in the street Via di Mezzo 24-26. La Pentola dell’Oro has happy waiters, and the food is reasonably priced, without compromising on quality. There is also cheap wine here, so it is not without reason that this is a restaurant that strikes the heart of many tourists and students.
La Pentola dell’Oro offers lunch on weekdays (usually from 1200 to 1430) and opens at 1900 to 2230. Dinner is normally served every day of the week. The street Via di Mezzo is located in Florence, not far from the Jewish synagogue.
In Via dei Macci 113 you will find the best pizza restaurant in Florence. At least if you mix the charm and atmosphere. Meet up well in advance because it often gets full at Il Pizzaiuolo ! We would never have told about this place unless the editor had forced us.
Il Pizzaiuolo is just north of Santa Croce and is open from 1900 to 2400 every day except Sundays when closed. You can also have lunch from 1230 to 1500 (not Sundays).
Special restaurants in Florence:
For advice, visit Enoteca Pinchiorri, located on Via Ghilbellina 87, not far from Santa Croce. This is one of Italy’s best restaurants with one of the finest wine cellars. There will probably be more than 70,000 wines here.
Wonderful Enoteca Pinchiorri is open from 1930 to 2200 every day except Sundays and Mondays when it is closed.
Ristorante La Reggia degli Etruschi
This restaurant is not located in Florence but in Fiesole. Don’t worry; The Fiesole is located just outside of Florence and it is easy to catch a bus there. Ristorante La Reggia has panoramic views and the best of Tuscan cuisine. It is also approved as enoteca, which means you get the best wines Italy has to offer. The address is Via San Francesco 18 in Fiesole.
Opening hours for Ristorante La Reggia degli Etruschi are 1230 to 1400 for lunch and 1900 to 2200 for dinner.
Best ice cream parlor in Florence
Few if any cities can compete with the ice cream parlors in Florence. The most famous, and perhaps the very best, is Vivoli in the small street Via dell’Isola delle Stinche, 7 just south of Piazza Santa Croce. Vivoli has managed to become a tourist attraction by itself. Vivoli is open from 0730 until midnight every day, except Mondays where it is closed and Sundays where it opens at 0900.
NB! There are several other ice cream bars that make the Vivoli range unmatched, so relax if you’re on another edge of Florence.
Nightlife in Florence
Florence offers a plethora of bars, and some Irish and “Irish” pubs. Several places offer so-called “apertivo” which means you pay for the drink and eat for free. Some selected favorites on the nightlife front of Florence are:
FUK Cocktail bar
FUK is said to stand for Florence Unpopular Café and is located in Santa Croce, more specifically in the street Via Giuseppe Verdi 19.
FUK is open every day of the week until 0200 at night. The place is known for nice bartenders who make good cocktails. Read more and get maps for FUK here!
The Joshua Tree Pub
Not far from the train station you will find the Irish Pub The Joshua Tree. Here you will find a number of different beers that belong and should a pub. The atmosphere is popular and the atmosphere (and number of people) increases throughout the evening.
The Joshua Tree Pub is open from 1100 to 0200 every day of the week. The address is Via della Scala 37. Read more and get maps for The Joshua Tree here!
There is a Harry’s Bar here and there around Europe. So also in Florence. On the northern bank of Arnos, more specifically at Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 22, is this cocktail bar and restaurant. Here it is elegant, a little overpriced, but it must be to see and be seen, if you understand what we mean.
Harry’s Bar is open from 1200 to 2300 every day. Read more and get maps of Harry’s Bar here!
Not far from the famous Piazza della Signoria you will find the Mayday Club bar, which probably offers Florence’s most delicious drinks. Yes, we talk world-class drinks, and yet at affordable prices.
The Mayday Club is open until 0200 every day except Sundays when it closes at midnight and Mondays where the bar is closed. NB! Mayday Club usually opens only at 2000.
Mayday Club’s address is Via Dante Alighieri and you can read more and get maps for Mayday Club here!
Discos and nightclubs in Florence
In the late hours Lungarno is the meeting place for many in Florence. The area is full of pubs, bars and the like. Tenax in Via Pratese, 46 (a good distance west of Florence) is a well-known club for recent night hours Fridays and Saturdays, but it is not asked if the optimal for many is the club Yab, which has been around since 1966. Yab is centrally located in Florence and opens at 1900 and closes at 0400. Closed Sundays and Tuesdays. The address is Via dei Sassetti, 5.
Tenax is open Fridays and Saturdays, from 2230 until very late. NB! It is not complete if you arrive before midnight.
A third known disco is the Space Club located south of Santa Maria Novella Station. The Space Club opens at 2200 and closes at 0400, and has full coverage all week. The address of the Space Club is Via Palazzuolo, 37.