Duomo Souvenir Shopping (Self Guided), Florence

It would be a pity to leave Florence without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. On this self-guided tour, we've compiled a list of shops and markets where you can find something unique to remember your Florentine visit.

Start at Central Market, which is not only a fun and colorful place to visit, but also the best place to stop for a meal. Visited by both tourists and locals, it has lots of little outdoor shops where you can buy nice gifts in leather, silk and cashmere. Downstairs you will find the classic dried porcini, cheeses, salami, and the dried or semi-dried seasonal food.

The nearby Ceramica Ricceri has some of the most beautiful hand-painted pieces you will find – from small to large, and of all price ranges. Luca, the artist and owner, is very talented, creating nested serving bowls, platters and mugs with traditional motifs that still feel modern.

Unlike other Luxury watch stores, Bottega Panerai will take you in like family. The staff is extraordinary and the watches are stunning, so if you’re a horological fan, the original Panerai boutique is another must!

Further along the way, a much-visited site in Florence, the iconic and ancient Ponte Vecchio glitters its way across the Arno as a pearl-like string of luxury treasure boutiques. Give yourself time to cross it and enjoy every prestigious merchant selling gold and silver jewelry. You can then end your shopping trip at Madova, which offers fantastic leather gloves that will last for decades… and are WASHABLE!

Follow this walk to find your way through Florence’s numerous offerings tempting shopaholics and souvenir buyers!
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Duomo Souvenir Shopping Map

Guide Name: Duomo Souvenir Shopping
Guide Location: Italy » Florence (See other walking tours in Florence)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Central Market (Mercato Centrale)
  • Ceramiche Ricceri
  • Bottega Panerai
  • Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Madova
Central Market (Mercato Centrale)

1) Central Market (Mercato Centrale) (must see)

Florence's 19th-century Mercato Centrale is actually comprised of two separate areas: a covered one, home to all things food, and an outdoor area that occupies the surroundings streets of the covered building, selling leather goods, clothing and many souvenirs for nice prices (great bargains on leather coats, jackets and purses).

If you are searching for Tuscan food, go to the indoor area. On the ground floor, you will find butchers, fishmongers, fruits, vegetables and specialty shops that sell local olive oils, truffle honey, cured meats, cheeses, specialty sauces, and much more. Many specialty shops offer free sampling.

Upstairs is the food court featuring a host of delicious local culinary delights. Here, not only you can taste the food but, through the glass windows, you can also watch how bread is baked, how the bufala cheese is handcrafted, or how artisan gelato is made from scratch. To really enjoy your meal here, try visiting outside the usual dining times as it gets a bit crowded.

Among the highlights:
~ Il Pane e la Pasticceria – watch French baker and Bakery World Cup champion David Bedu, as he bakes everything from baguettes to traditional breads, to the most exquisite French pastries, such as choux and éclairs;
~ Martino Bellincampi's shop serving buffalo mozzarella in a typical Roman-style salad as well as the Neapolitan 'mozzarella in carrozza', a fried mozzarella sandwich which is the ultimate guilty pleasure;
~ ARÀ, with its signature dish – the "arancini" (deeply fried rice balls stuffed with different flavors), but also plenty of other Sicilian-style desserts; try the "cannoli", "cassatini", or a "granita";
~ Il Tartufo, offering excellent black and white seasonal truffles in dishes like pasta, salads, sandwiches, various spreads, and even beer;
~ La Pizzeria, serving Marco Fierro's perfectly crispy, fresh, wood oven-baked pizza made with the highest quality Italian ingredients;
~ Pasta Fresca – perfect to taste both classical and creative pasta dishes and to attend cooking shows;
~ Il Vegeteriano e il Vegano – the ideal stand for vegetarians and vegans.

The outside market is closed by early afternoon, while the food court is open until midnight.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ceramiche Ricceri

2) Ceramiche Ricceri

Florentine Renaissance art products are great souvenirs for remembering your trip to the birth place of Renaissance. Since 1950s, Ceramiche Ricceri has been creating handmade pottery, especially wonderfully looking pots and plates depicting the Florentine Renaissance art dating back to the 16th century. The factory shop specializes Renaissance style ornamental plates, while also make lamp bases, jugs, umbrella stands, etc.

Painted with fruits or flowers immediately recalling Tuscany (eg. sunflowers), these plates stand out for their artistic splendor, a result of the collaboration between Ricceri and many expert decorators. Entirely painted and shaped by hand, the handcrafted ceramics decorated by Ricceri represent the quality and taste of Florentine “master potters”. These plates can cost up to 350 euros, depending on the motif you choose.
Bottega Panerai

3) Bottega Panerai

Swiss watches are known for their precision, but when it comes to design, Italians watches are unbeatable. Combined Italian design tradition with Swiss technology, Panerai wrist watches are simply perfect. They have been referred to as "art in motion" as they’re known for their precision, quality and the luxury they radiate, which makes them unique.

The company opened its first watch shop in 1860 in Florence and has a history of providing watch proof watches to Italian navy. Panerai’s flagship shop in Florence (their very first boutique) is called “Bottega Panerai” and is located in Piazza San Giovanni 16/R in the historic building of Palazzo Arcivescovile and opens Mon - Sat: 9.30 am to 7 pm; Sun: 11 am to 7 pm.
Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)

4) Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) (must see)

Ponte Vecchio (or The Old Bridge) in Florence appeared in documents for the first time in 996. Of all the six local bridges crossing the river Arno, it was the only one spared by the retreating Germans in 1944. Today, this Medieval stone arch bridge stands testament to what a monarch can accomplish in terms of lasting legacy.

Still lined with shops, as was commonplace in the Middle Ages, this bridge is presently occupied by jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers, whereas initially, its tenants were all butchers who habitually dumped rotten animal carcasses straight into the river below. That was the case until the 16th century when Grand Duke Fernandino I de' Medici demanded that all the butcher shops were replaced by goldsmiths – thus not only did he rid the bridge of its rotting stench, but also turned it into the golden-most spot in Italy.

If looking at Ponte Vecchio from a distance, one can notice there an upper level, which is in fact a kilometer-long tunnel linking the Palazzo Pitti with Palazzo Vecchio and using which, back in the day, Duke Fernandino could walk freely between the two palaces whenever he felt insecure in public. Although the passageway is now closed since 2016 for safety reasons, the Uffizi Gallery has announced plans to re-open it by 2021.

One of the legends surrounding the bridge is it that the economic term “bankruptcy” originated right here when a money-changer who couldn't pay his debts, in punishment for his insolvency had his trading table physically broken by soldiers, so he could no longer sell anything. The table was called "banco", and thus the term "bancorotto" came into being.

Today, the Ponte Vecchio is a pleasant place to walk in the evening, if not packed end to end with thousands of tourists traversing the river over its cobblestones.

Why You Should Visit:
The sunset light here makes it a special spot to cross or watch from afar. The morning light on the river is just as gorgeous a sight to behold and, if you come here early in the day, you may stand a pretty good chance of having this “old bridge” all to yourself!

If you do cross the bridge, be careful with your surroundings to avoid getting pickpocketed.

5) Madova

Florence is well known for its high quality leather products. While the clothes you wear reveal details about your personality, accessories give hints on your character, but gloves certainly talk about your style. Madova’s leather gloves are synonymous with elegance.

Madova family started making leather gloves in 1919. This Florentine gloves brand is well known for its style, quality and craftsmanship all over the world. These gloves are made of kidskin, lambskin, or nubuck calf leather. The gloves are lined in cashmere, silk, rabbit, lamb or merino sheep wool, or unlined, and the gloves come in a wide variety of colors.

Designed both for men and for women, Madova is the only shop in Europe that sells exclusively gloves. Pricing starts at 35 euros for the most plain models, but can reach 200 euros for the most sophisticated and elaborate ones.

Madova is located in Via De’ Guicciardini 1/R. It opens Mon - Sat from 10.30 am to 7 pm and is closed on Sundays.

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