Perennially skipped over for borgo San Jacopo and piazza della Passera, via dello Sprone may be one of Florence’s last semi-kept secrets—even Ditta Artigianale 2.0 sees some downtime. When viewed from the foot of the Buontalenti fountain, the narrow street isn’t much of a looker, but keep moving and you’ll find everything from art shops to pit stops (literally—one of Florence’s very few public restrooms is right in the middle. Nota bene for your next full-day Oltrarno outing).
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Distracted by the mimes and merriment of piazza della Passera, it’d be easy to miss Mirta Effe—this small, cushy shop has a thing for patterned pants, silky blouses, dotted sweaters and Zooey Deschanel silhouettes. Lightly decorated with handmade puppets, birdhouses and baby clothes, the modest womenswear nook feels fresh and a wee bit wacky—don’t be alarmed if you’re suddenly inspired to paint your coffee table, shop for garden gnomes or throw a tea party.
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BJØRK’s signature mix of Scandinavian minimalism and androgynous style keeps Florence’s most fashion-conscious coming in droves. Owned by young Florentine Filippo Anzalone, this starkly pure, quietly bold boutique commands attention. Magazine disciples will go mad for the selection: Monocle, Kinfolk, POP, The Escapist, Tissue and The Gentlewoman are all staples in the stacks. Shoes and apparel on offer blend international flavor with Italian know-how: look for funky footwear by New Kid or clean-lined menswear from Matthew Miller.
Sara Amrhein & Scicc’Art
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American jewelry designer Sara Amrhein, co-founder of Creative People in Florence, is the street’s newest addition (her former studio is now home to the Creative Collective, CPIF’s exhibition space and contemporary art hub). The cheery colors of Sara’s structured polymer clay pieces pair perfectly with the items at Scicc’Art, a shop that shares the space. Scicc’Art’s stock is hand-selected by the discerning Tiziana Salvi, vaunting a variety of made-in-Italy goods: think Montelupo Fiorentino
ceramics and cheeky Tuscan tiles.
Vinaino dello Sprone
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If late-night Oltrarno outings have led you to the sidestreets around piazza della Passera, we’d bet you’ve sipped a beer or snapped a picture on this eatery’s trademark red rickshaw, frequently parked around the corner from the entrance. Don’t let it steer you away from the main attraction: Vinaino Lo Sprone, a dive-y drink spot with trattoria tendencies. Stop in for an afternoon merenda, a boozy break or a tasting plate at aperitivo time. The cozy locale also has a range of savory Tuscan dishes.
MORE ON VIA DELLO SPRONE
Lory Digital Fine Art – via dello Sprone 29r
Caffè degli Artigiani – via dello Sprone 16r (piazza della Passera)
Ditta Artigianale Oltrarno – via dello Sprone 5r
Phase Restauro – via dello Sprone 6