If you’re visiting the art capital of the world, you’re probably wondering what to buy in Florence, Italy. This city is known for its exceptional shopping, and it may seem overwhelming in the best way.
Florence is full of local artisans who have perfected their craft. Find quality gold, genuine silk, and heavenly chocolates, to name a few items. Florence is the perfect place to find a gift or a souvenir that truly speaks to Italy’s culture. Here, you’ll find handcrafted goods with a rich history.
If you want to know what exactly to look for while shopping in Florence, we have a guide for you. Below, we feature the top goods you have to check out next time you’re in Florence. Read on to discover the most stylish — or delicious — items to buy in Florence.
1. Florence’s Famous Leather Goods
Leather has long been a staple of Italy. In the 1200s, the Arte dei Cuoiai, the leather workers guild, was formed in Florence. Today, there are still many leather stores in Florence. Two popular outdoor markets are the San Lorenzo Market and Mercato Nuovo. While shopping, price differences help you determine the leather’s value. It will be marked by whether it’s made in Florence, made in Italy, or made elsewhere.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking for the best of the best, the term to look for is “pieno fiore.” If you don’t want imitation leather, avoid the term “similpelle.”
2. Gold Jewelry from Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio is a medieval bridge lined with jewelry shops. In the 1500s, Grand Duke Ferninando Medici hated the smell of butchers on the bridge. He ordered metalworkers to open shop instead, creating a more pleasant walkway. Today, you can still find excellent gold in this location. If you’re searching for what to buy in Florence, Italy, shop here for high quality and craftsmanship.
Insider Tip: Most Italian gold is 18k. It should be stamped on the piece somewhere so you can tell if it’s 18k.
3. Ceramics and Pottery
There are many colorful ceramics available in Florence, Italy. They come from local artisan workshops all around the city. There are especially a lot of hand-painted ceramics available in Florence. A couple of popular ceramic shops include Carnesecchi and Ciramiche Ricceri. If you’re interested in a day trip, you can also visit Montelupo Fiorentino. This nearby town is famous for its fine ceramics.
Insider Tip: If you head away from Florence’s center, you’ll find smaller, family-owned ceramic shops.
4. Marbled Paper Goods
Florence is home to all sorts of stationery and paper goods. One design technique that’s especially popular in Italy is marbled paper. Paper marbling is a method of aqueous surface design. It results in patterns similar to stone, especially marble. One of the most famous styles is Florentia paper. It features blooming, floral decorations. Paper makes for the perfect, lightweight souvenir when shopping in Florence, Italy.
Insider Tip: Il Paparo is a chain of local shops located within the city center that you can’t miss.
5. Tuscan Wine
Italy is known for its wine, and Florence is no exception. As part of the Tuscany wine region, Florence has a wide array of delicious wines to sample. The most popular wines in Florence are Chianti and Chianti Classico. Take a day trip from Florence to visit a vineyard or try a wine-walking tour in the city. Take home a bottle (or several) of your favorite flavor.
Insider Tip: The Chianti wine region is famous. Visit this area for its large-scale production of Sangiovese, the most popular wine grape in Italy.
6. Olive Oil
In addition to wine, another great local flavor in Florence is olive oil. Olive oil makes for the perfect gift to take back from Italy because it goes with everything. Extra virgin olive oil is especially important in Tuscan culture. You know olive oil from this region is going to be crafted with the finest care. We recommend checking out the Central Market in Florence for a bottle of delectable olive oil.
Insider Tip: Check out olive oil and vinegar at La Bottega dell’Olio in Piazza del Limbo. Here you’ll find some of the best olive oil in the city.
7. Fashion Items
Florence, like much of Italy, is known for its fashion! The artistic nature of the city adds a special flair to its fashion. It’s even known as the birthplace of the luxury brand Gucci. Ferragamo, Pucci, and Cavalli are other popular brands from Florence. In addition to designers, you’ll find a lot of vintage shops in Florence. This city truly has something for everyone’s style and budget when you’re looking for what to buy in Florence, Italy.
Insider Tip: Via Roma and Via dei Calzaiuoli are Florence’s most famous shopping streets.
8. Perfumes and Cosmetics
Florence also offers numerous perfume and cosmetics brands. Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is a popular stop. It’s considered the oldest pharmacy in Europe! Here, you’ll find lots of luxurious local goodies. Find your signature scent that will always remind you of your time in Florence.
Insider Tip: Take a local perfume class to make your scent even more special.
9. Florentine Mosaics (known as “Pietre Dure”)
Pietre dure is polychrome hardstone inlay. It’s a beautiful art method that features painted stones used in mosaics. This artistic style is especially famous in Florence. Domenic Ghirlandaio, a Florentine Renaissance painter, called pietre dure “painting for eternity.” The majority of this art style is made from black Belgian marble. These beautiful mosaic pieces are a great nod to Florence’s culture.
Insider Tip: Opificio delle Pietre Dure Museum is a great place to stop. It was originally a workshop of the Medici.
10. Artisan Chocolates
Chocolate is another delicious flavor found in Florence. You can’t go wrong with this scrumptious, sweet treat! There are many local chocolate tours available. Or, you can buy some to go from a market. We recommend visiting Rivoire, Vestri, and Venchi. In Florence, most of the chocolate you’ll find is made by hand in small batches.
Insider Tip: Jump on a tour that includes chocolate, wine, and cheese tasting. This way you can truly experience all the flavors of Florence!
Silk was first introduced to Italy by Catholic missionaries who worked in China. Since then, it’s been an important staple in Florence. Gorgeous silk fits the artistic atmosphere of the city. Try visiting Antico Setificio Fiorentino, Italy’s only surviving silk mill. We recommend purchasing a silk scarf in Florence to take a small piece of this lovely fabric home with you.
Insider Tip: To see if something is made from genuine silk, run the fabric through a ring. True silk will run right through it without catching on anything.
In Italian, biscotti means “twice-baked.” Often used interchangeably with cantucci, a specific type of cookie, biscotti refers to all types of cookies. Biscotti is a top choice if you’re debating what to buy in Florence, Italy! One of the best places to buy biscotti in Florence is at Forno Pintucci Centro. Shop for different flavors and search for recipes to make your own biscotti at home. Pair your biscotti with a steaming hot cup of espresso for a genuine Italian treat. Learn more about Tuscan desserts here.
Insider Tip: Biscotti from Il Cantuccio di San Lorenzo is another especially popular choice for locals.
13. Tuscan Cheese
Tuscan cheese is another must-have when you’re visiting Florence. Pecorino is the most popular cheese in Tuscany, so you’ll want to try that. We recommend eating at Tuscan Taste Florence for a genuinely delicious sampling of cheeses. Formaggioteca is another great cheese shop in Florence. Pair your cheese with wine for an excellent taste of Italy.
Insider Tip: Take a guided tour of a Tuscan cheese factory for an in-depth approach to learning about Florence’s many cheeses.
Due to its rich, artisanal history, Florence is home to many fabulous antiques and thrifted finds. Some of our favorite shops are Boutique Nadine, Tartan Vintage, and Melrose Vintage Ginori. We also like Florence flea markets, like the weekly one at Cascine. You’ll find all sorts of things, from clothes to artwork. Antiques are a great way to take a piece of Florence’s fascinating history home with you.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking for a flea market in Florence, search for the term “mercato delle pulci.”
Finally, you’ll find breathtaking artwork all over Florence, a city called the capital of arts. From small art galleries to big brands, this city is known for its exceptional art. Renaissance art is especially popular here, but you can find all sorts of things. If you’re looking at a gallery, we suggest ARTiglieria and Gallery 360. You can also try browsing at an auction house like Pandolfini. Art is one of our top picks when you’re deciding what souvenirs to buy in Florence, Italy.
Insider Tip: Check out Ponte Vecchio, where many jewelry shops are, for street art vendors. Here, you may find small, affordable pieces to take as souvenirs.
What is cheap to buy in Florence, Italy?
Accessories are great items to buy when trying to spend less in Florence. Look for scarves, belts, and purses.
Is it acceptable to negotiate prices in Florence’s markets and shops?
Typically, it’s acceptable to try and ask street vendors in Florence for a discount. Most boutiques have a set price, though.