Best Florence Markets and Outlets for Shopping in Florence

Florence is a city that attracts a number of craftsmen and artisans that have workshops throughtout the city. Lucky for those of us who like to indulge in a little retail therapy while we are on holiday!

I love visiting local markets when I travel. First of all I like mingling with the locals, listening to the language, watching the interactions  between buyer and seller which are often quite amusing, but mainly because I love bagging a bargain!

Handicrafts for Sale in Florence

Best Places for Buying Leather Jackets, Bags and Shoes

I can never leave Florence without buying something of leather, whether it be a new piece of leather luggage at the mercato (market) or a nice pair of leather shoes,
leather is definitely a good buy in this city. Although not the cheapest place in town you can get personalized leather items with your initials in gold leaf printed on items bought at the leatherworks shop at Santa Croce. Open Mondays to Saturdays 9:30 a.m - 6:00 p.m.

If you want to see how leather is processed and artisans creating their leatherwork then you can visit the leather factory Peruzzi and shop at numer 8 Borgo dei Greci
which makes a change to the many paintings, sculptures and artworks that can leave you jaded if you are not careful.

If money is no object, head for Via Tornabuoni which is the high fashion street.Here you will find Salvatore Ferragamo in the historic palazzo at numbers 4-14. The shops tend to cluster in the area between the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. This is also where you will find the Gucci shop at #10.

Shoes and bags are a Florentine speciality, as is the beautiful marbled paper you can find in Il Torchio along the dark and winding Vial del Bardi on the other side of the Arno.

For something more affordable, the market near the church of San Lorenzo supplies a lively shopping experience where traditional Florentine leather is available in abundance alongside less attractive tat. Just be selective and you are sure to find a bargain, but make sure to barter to get a good deal.

Leather bags hanging on display at the San Lorenzo Market, Florence

Leather bags for sale at the Lorenzo Market

Buying Marbled Paper

Marbled paper is also sold here along with fashionable items of clothing. San Lorenzo market is open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. From November - February it is closed on a Monday.

Buying Handpainted Ceramics

If you are looking for handpainted ceramics these can be found at La Botteghina. The work sold through this shop is done by some of Italy's best artisans. The shop is
at number 5 Via Guelfa.

If you are looking for work done by local artisans then visit Oltrarno. Here there are many artisans at work and where you can also go antique hunting.

Buying Jewelry, Perfume, Goldsmiths

Florence is also known for its jewelry making and perfume factories. Some of the best goldsmiths in Florence today are Brunelleschi, Verrocchio, the Pollaiuolo brothers, Cellini and Ghiberti.

Florence Markets

There are a number of markets in Florence selling a variety of goods. A market in Italy is known as a Mercato.

Mercato della Cascine - Open Tuesday 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

This weekly market takes place in the Cascine Park that is like a large departmental store with the variety of goods on sale.

Flowers and plants for sale at the flower market, Florence
Mercato della Piante takes place in the Piazza della Republica on Thursdays 7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

This is a flower market that takes place under the loggia of the central post office where you can buy more potted plants than freshly cut flowers, but everything is available from the humble lavender to more exotic orchids.

Florentines buy the flowers from this market not only to decorated the inside of their homes but also to decorate their balconies and for their window boxes to brighten up their stone facades.

Mercato Nuova open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. This is known as the straw market of Porcellino where you used to be able to buy a number of staw goods. However, most of the straw stalls closed during the 1960s and so now there is  leatherwork, ceramics, linens, some straw hats and bags and other handmade goods.

It is not the best markets in Florence, but worth a trip to rub the snout of the bronze boar, Porcellino.

During the summer the market is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and during the winter it is open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and closes Sundays and Mondays.

Mercato delle Pulci takes place in the Piazza dei Ciompi beneath Vasari's fish loggia. It opens Tuesdays - Saturdays from 8:00 .m. - 1:00 p.m. and then from 3:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. This flea market sells a lot of all sorts that some may perceive as junk and others as treasures. However, sometimes the prices can be a bit steep but if you are looking for
ex-votos and old postcards then this is the place to go.

Mercato San Lorenzo takes place around the church of San Lorenzo daily from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Now if you had planned to buy some Italian leather shoes at a good price look at the stalls on the Borgo San Lorenzo side where you will find sandals and shoes at half the price you would pay in any Florence shop.

This is considered one of the best markets in Florence. It takes place on the Piazza San Lorenzo, Via del Canto de Nelli, Via dell' Ariento and spills out onto other side streets.

There are many leather bargains to be had here, but check the merchandise properly for good workmanship as you can be caught too.

From March to October stalls are open from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. From November - March the market is closed Sundays and Mondays except for 2 weeks before Christmas when it opens daily.

Prosciutto hanging up in the Central Market, Florence2 3) Mercato Centrale takes place just north of Piazza San Lorenzo in the Piazza del Mercato Centrale from Mondays - Saturdays 7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Here you will be able to buy your picnic lunches or if you are staying in a self-catering apartment the perfect place to rub shoulders with the locals.

There are vegetables, fish, meat, oils and cheese for sale here.

The Fierucolina Organic Market is an organic market that promotes using organic farming and biodynamic farming on a small scale, and handmade goods naturally made and free from preservatives.

Held every third Sunday of the month (except August) in Piazza Santo Spirito on the south bank of the Arno in Oltrarno.

Christmas Markets in Florence

The German Christmas Market is held in the Piazza Santa Croce from late November until Christmas Eve . It's a typical Christmas market, where you can find decorations for the Christmas tree and the Nativity scenes. There are also Germanic sweets and biscuits on sale. The market is open daily from 10.00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Florence Shopping Tours

Of course, you can scour the markets and streets mentioned above for good bargains, but what about a Florentine taking you to the best shopping outlets of his or her city? Well, if you have a look at the shopping tours available, you will see that this is exactly what you will be able to do.

There are several types of tours in Florence. There are some that take you to the Prada and Gucci outlets, and a tour that takes you on a food walking tour of this wonderful city.

 Grab a bargain on your
Florence shopping tour , and have some fun at the same time while you shop in a small group.


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