Flanked by Santissima Annunziata and a straight-on view of Brunelleschi’s dome, via dei Servi isn’t exactly “off the beaten path.” But the imported leather and souvenir stands lining many of Florence’s tourist-trafficked streets are a far cry from what you’ll find here. With its wide-ranging shops, dining spots and services, via dei Servi has practical Main Street appeal with a neighborly feel: business owners still float in and out of each other’s spaces, sharing coffee and chiacchiere.
Stratagemma | Via dei Servi 15r
Founded in 1988, fantastical Strategemma serves every type of gamer, from Jenga junkies to Magic the Gathering groupies. Comic book- or card game-crazed parents who shopped here in Stratagemma’s early years now bring new generations of players to the store. Alongside Trekkie tools, Tolkien-inspired board games and Texas Hold’em decks, you’ll find puzzles and Rubik’s cubes, roleplay sets and all manner of game-geek memorabilia. More than just a shop, it’s evolved into a hub for intercultural tournaments and costumed affairs.
Bottega Montebello | Via dei Servi 111r
Guidebooks would have you believe that all serious Florence artists work out of dusty Oltrarno botteghe, but the charismatic pair behind Montebello will show you otherwise. A couple in work and in life, Florentine Maurizio Bomberini and Chilean Daniela M. Sigala create paintings and decorative pieces from recycled wood. Both a studio and gallery-shop, Bottega Montebello is lined with Maurizio’s often fish- and nautical-themed works, and Daniela’s frequently Florence-inspired pieces: the Basilica of Santo Spirito is prominent in many of her paintings.
Rigacci | Via dei Servi 71r
For 91 years, Rigacci has been the definitive downtown stop for fine arts students and professionals in Florence. With its pastels and pencils, paintbrushes and palettes, you can build a top-notch “toolset” if you’re just starting out: watch the purchase patterns of the longtime clients and ask the staff to share their expertise. For beginning and long-practicing painters, the shop provides numerous color formulations well-fit for oil and acrylic work, graphics, restoration and sculpture. You’ll also find a well-curated selection of canvases and a variety of textured papers.
Street Doing | Via dei Servi 88r
The always eye-catching vetrina at this vintage shop ceaselessly pulls curious customers inside. Careful, studious sifters, be prepared: the store’s size and stock require a real commitment. Uncover Versace coats, Missoni knits and Chanel skirt suits; filter through Florentine labels mixed in with French maison finds; or head straight to one of the store’s signature features—vintage trunks converted into treasure-filled “bargain bins,” with scarves, skirts and accessories priced at 15 euro and below. Spanning blue jeans to ball gowns, Street Doing has a wide selection for both men and women.
Via dei Servi | The Don’t Miss List
Bottega degli Animali. Pet supply shop | 32r
Farmacia Ss. Annunziata. Cosmetics, perfumes, soaps | 80r
Sugar and Spice. American bakery | 43r
Bartolini. Kitchen and homewares | 72r
Pink Street Club. Lounge bar | 82r