Whether it’s last minute Christmas shopping or something to set your eyes sparkling, Destination Florence have put together some of the best places to shop over the season, with workshops and more to start off the New Year in style.
Wake up your creativity
These long wintry days are the perfect chance to put your creative skills to use, trying your hand at a monotype printing workshop using flowers or fresh aromatic herbs, depending on the season. In the atmospheric setting of the cloister at the Vecchio Conventino, you can create your masterpiece under the guidance of expert artisan Jessica Millar. The centuries-old art involves vegetable-based watercolours and priming the paper, getting the help of rollers to apply the plant silhouettes. You can even bring kids (over age eight) along for the fun, or adults can assist those even younger, with the workshop available in both English and Italian.
Gems and jewels
Looking for that perfect piece to symbolize your love for Florence? Paolo Penko puts together unique, handmade jewellery inspired by the city’s artistic and cultural heritage, leading to exclusive and innovative items that have even been featured in the Bargello Museum and Palazzo Pitti. The Golden Fiorino is perhaps his most well-known item, based on the symbol for the city’s economic power dating back to 1252 and featuring the Florentine Giglio (lily) inscribed with FLOR.ENTIA and an effigy of St. John the Baptist, the city’s patron saint.
Crossing the Ponte Vecchio can only leave you open-mouthed in wonder as the sparkling cabinets of the many jewellers stop you in your tracks. Fratelli Piccini is one such artisanal wonderland, with four generations carrying forward their family philosophy. Whether you’re seeking a truly special gift for a certain someone or looking to pick up a unique memento from your trip, you’re bound to find it in this glittering boutique.
Sort all sartorial needs in shopping centres
As wind and rain threaten to ruin your shopping experience, you’ll find refuge in the nearby shopping centres that keep all your favourites close by. The Barberino Designer Outlet is home to over 100 stores, cafés and restaurants, with reductions of up to 70% all year round and even more during the annual summer and winter sales. Situated just 30 minutes from Florence and easily reached via shuttle bus, the village-style setting is well worth wandering and there’s even a space for kids to play to add to the adventure! Alternatively, there’s the luxury outlet The Mall, located 40 minutes from the city and also providing its own shuttle service. Here you’ll find top Italian and international brands at discounted prices. Of course, there’s also I Gigli, where you can keep up with the trends at all your favourite high street brands and more, even paying a visit to international chains like Starbucks and Primark.