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Florence, apart from the historical and cultural beauties, has always been renowned throughout the whole world for its fashion.
The city center hosts numerous luxury shops and prestigious boutique that helped making Made in Italy appreciated globally.
Some of which were born right here: Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Patrizia Pepe.
Boutique are mainly concentrated in the via de' Tornabuoni’s neighborhood, as well as its lateral streets such as via degli Strozzi e via della vigna nuova.
In every corner you could find high quality leather manufactures, but there is even a less glamourous and famous Florence that deserves to be taken into account equally.
Ponte Vecchio is the temple of goldsmith’s art and most prestigious jewelries. Here you could also admire the beauty of the bridge and the city seen from the Arno as well as the precious creations of the goldsmiths.
As you exit from the dalla Santa Maria Novella train station you will be right next to San Lorenzo’s market. It is the most importany of the city, it sorrounds San Lorenzo’s church, right in the middle of downtoen and it goes from Piazza San Lorenzo until via dell'Ariento. If you are searching for a leather item, that’s the right spot.
It is worth the visit also the near Mercato Centrale, a wide covered space where to find typical tuscan products and alimentary delicacy. Arteria dello Florentine shopping thoroughfare is the central via de' Calzaioli, full of shops and chains for all kinds of wallets.
Borgo Ognissanti, Via de' Fossi e Via Maggio are the antiquarian roads, while Oltrarno surrounding area helds a lot of small traditional and artisanal workshops and labs of all kinds of item, spacing from shoes to jewelry.
300 meters disant to the Cathedral abside, is located the popular Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood and its folkloristic market, where is absolutely compelling to buy Cinta Senese, Pienza or less known Busti’s salamis and cheeses: truffles and pistachios are the best.
Maybe you can even stop by at Rocco, internal restaurants serving tuscan cuisine only, like ribollita. There you probably will not get too passionate about the typical florentine bread since its entirely unsalty.
Tradition says its due to the fact that when battling, Marine Republic of Pisa, on the coast, would also fight Florence’s Ducato without sending them salt, so it has been like this since the 1200 that the recipe has not changed. Sant’Ambrogio is also the Hebraic neighborhood: the synagogue, in Moorish style, is one of the biggest of Europe, and the carciofi alla giudia of Ruth’s are super delicious.
Back to our tour: behind the Duomo take a walk in Borgo Pinti, a medieval street whose total width, is not even as large as a 5th Avenue’s sidewalk and it is extremely rare that lights filters to shine in the whole alley.
The streets begins with a dreamy invitation from Elena Dosio’s boutique for an all-female shopping at Pesci che volano: pendants, bracelets, rings, necklaces with sinuous, dreamy and exclusive shapes, as tradition demands, as well as maillots and hats, designed and homemade by her hands. Just a few meters ahead I invite you to stop at Mrs Macis, far from being a vintage boutique, its outfit are directly inspired by the fifties for the textures, colours, and shapes... trés chic!
Few steps more and you’ll meet congolese designer Madame Luloloko shop: in a ten meters squares metri you will find anything.
Each piece is tailor-made with an explosion of african colours perfeclty matched with the Italian stile: pochette, purses, foulard, bags, summer shirts, solar as the owner, ideals for an original unexpected gift.
Another less tangible but still as precious gift is fifty meters ahead: Borgo Pinti’s Casa per Ferie is completely hidden rinascimental gem, that you can visit only purchasing a dream night between the frescoed ceilings surrounding a perfectly simmetrial patio of the XIV century, all managed by Oblate nuns. Having breakfast in this classic italian garden is a marvellous experience.
On the same side of the street, could you be fascinated by halogen lamps inside a vent or maybe an ice cream shaped applique straight from the sixties/seventies cult?
You did not appreciate it too much, next door is Sbigoli ceramics, a comeback to the purest florentine tradition: pottery trays, Virgin May mayolicas, fleur-de-lys dishes to hang or use at your house. An institution for the florentine people, that normal tourists do not even know exist!
Along the way you might have noticed that all streets signed have been repainted with variants showing the command still, but at the same time.
Well, french artist Abraham Clet, some years ago had started to illegally transform, with the help of the shadow, these signals in art pieces: police initially removed them all, while the artist remained anonym.
But all fiorentini fell in love so much with this eclectic act of genius that the signs were slowly kept on, the artist showed up and the mayor rewarded him, making the artist opening an atelier on the other side of the Arno, in Porta San Niccolò.
Approaching the Arno, stop at Vignoli for a good oil bottle from their farm: you will notice the oil being super gree, cause they sell only the novo “new” from this year.
Slightly further Teatro Verdi you could like a cobalt persian vase or house object made only in Iran, “a piece fallen from the sky” as the owner of Shiraz would say: no carpets only tile objects like cats straight from Isfahan.
Good, once you have crossed the bridge here is Clet’s atelier: qui si può acquistare tutta l’oggettistica correlata e as well as an original traffic signal: who would not by a florentine stop signal with Batman’s log? Well, few friends of mine have them exposed in their living rooms: here and only in this city is where you can track them!
To conclude, we must remember to all fashion’s aficionados not lose the important trending rally organized in the city: the famous Pitti Immagine (with Pitti Immagine Uomo e Pitti Immagine Bimbo) that is held Fortezza da Basso.