Streetsmart: via Romana

Quirky boutiques, beautiful blooms and trinket heaven

Mary Gray
February 5, 2015

Being a savvy sightseer in Florence is all about being ‘streetsmart’—taking note of the shops, sounds, scents and smiles that add atmosphere to a given area and lend a street its spirit. Right now, the Oltrarno is the place to be and via Romana is at the center of the revival. Lined with eclectic concept stores, secret gardens and on-trend fashion finds, it’s the perfect street for Valentine’s Day ideas and to take a stroll with your loved one.

 

 

 

 

VIA ROMANA > The Don't Miss List

 

1. Reciclò. Furnishings crafted from recycled materials - 154/r

2. Jullian. French food and wines - 132/r

3. La Buca del Vino. Wine on tap - 129/r

 

 

photos by Birgitte Brøndsted

 

4. AFFIX, via Romana 110

This historic boutique has served the Oltrarno for over three decades, and owner Elisabetta Chiaverini has been the constant through it all. With its wide assortment of chic womenswear, including items from both Affix’s own line and other brands, this shop’s clientele ranges from buttoned-up bankers to freewheeling art students. The scope of silhouettes and textures on display instantly makes an impression: think cropped blazers, billowy sweaters, faux fur jackets and tapered trousers.

 

5. L'arte della Torta di Melanie Secciani. Wedding cakes - 98/r

 

6. SDAM, via Romana 82/r

Open for just over a year and a half, Sdam is a small shop with a smorgasbord of quirky treasures, from lighting accessories and home décor to a special line of soaps (don’t expect to find lilac and lavender, however—Sdam’s vodka, whisky and rum-scented soaps are one of its coolest trademarks). Chief among the store’s services is its customized 2D laser cutting—Sdam will take ho-hum household items like cups or picture frames and add a personalized twist.

 

7. Da Zero. Hair salon – 59/r

 

8. Giardino ANNALENA, via Romana 38

Managed by two friendly sisters, this serene spot is just across the street from the back entrance to the Boboli Gardens. Don’t be fooled by its cold, gated exterior: though it may appear to be a proverbial ‘secret garden,’ or a private escape for via Romana’s most reclusive residents, it’s open to the public. Giardino Annalena’s blooms color multiple market stalls in piazza Santo Spirito, piazza della Repubblica and Campo di Marte, but you can also buy plants and flowers directly on site.

 

9. Tabescè. Handmade gifts, accessories and décor - 39/r

10. Paninopoli. Sandwich shop - 40/r

11. Beleza e Natureza. Luxurious AVEDA salon - 30/r

12. Anita Russo Ceramics.  Jewelry, household items, more - 11/r

13. Maria Pace Creative Clothing.  Womenswear boutique - 22/r

 

14. LE 18 LUNE, via Romana 18/r

Tiny but teeming with charming trinkets, Le 18 Lune is your one-stop shop for postcards, stationery, poster prints and great gift ideas. Under owner Chiara Alberti’s careful curation, the store is always stocked with kitschy tote bags, statement rings and hand-made notebooks from Vicenza. Need some inspiration to send a handwritten letter? Pick up some of the Santo Spirito-themed postcards, many of which feature the designs of artist Stefano Ramunno, who, in true ‘neighborhood’ style, has his studio right next door.

 

Begin or end the walk with a stop at Bar d’Angolo (piazza della Calza 1, directly across from Porta Romana).

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