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Expert Tips

 

Check Out the Other Side of the Arno River for Unique Finds



Many visitors to Florence don't think about heading over the bridges crossing the Arno River to the quieter, more local side of town. You won't find many of the big-name shops here, but that's part of the area's charm. However, you will find spots where you can meet local artisans and talk to them about the different items they offer. For a more personal feel, it's worth it to head to the other side and check out the options.

Gallori-Turchi houses some fun and amusing antique items that you might want to consider when you are thinking about buying gifts for friends and family back home. Each piece has a story that you will want to ask about--each are interesting pieces of history worth having in your home.

Prive is the perfect boutique to find well-fitting and beautiful clothing items that you won't find anywhere else. Special care is taken to assure that you enjoy each piece that you buy for a long time. The staff is always willing to help you with any concerns that you might have. Pitti Vintage also has some wonderful, lightly used items that you'll want to consider when you want your style to be as unique as the city you're visiting.


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Combining a feeling of old-world chic and mysticism, this shop hidden away features items unlike any other you will find in the city. As a goldsmith sculptor, Dari has created a style all his own that few would be able to copy. A museum as well as a shop, guests can spend hours looking at all the different items available for purchase. It's the perfect spot to go if you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary and that will gain some interest from friends and family. When you want to be taken back in time, this is the spot to check out and transport yourself to another time.

Read more about Alessandro Dari →




With so many different leather shops in the city, it can be hard to choose one that you know will serve all your needs. Casini Leather Works offers everything you could ever want from a leather boutique--you'll find excellent purses, leather jackets, and more at this shop located near the Pitti Palace. The designs are all classic and meant to last. You'll want to take your time and enjoy trying on all the different options available for purchase. Also, feel free to ask the staff for anything you may need. They can often point you to the perfect item for any of your gift or personal needs.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: You'll find some beautiful, high-quality pieces you'll want to care around for years.

Alexa's expert tip: Check out the different styles throughout the season--there is always something new.

Read more about Casini Leather →




Interior design has been a staple of Florentine living for centuries--you won't find more elaborate decorations than those at the Pitti Palace. You can bring some of that style back to your own home by visiting Pitti Mosaici. Not only can you look into inlaying stones into your floor or kitchen, but you can also get expert advice on how to create a home that you will continue to love for years and that can remind you of your trip to Florence. You can also find a collection of tables and marble sculptures that can also be a highlighting piece in your own house.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: You'll find gorgeous pieces that you will love for years.

Alexa's expert tip: Check out some of the works being restored--it's fun to see the artisans at work.

Read more about Pitti Mosaici →


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Gallori-Turchi


Featuring a wide selection of various antiques, you'll not only find work that should belong on a museum wall, but things that you will also want to bring back and feature in your own home. You'll want to ask the staff if they can offer you the information you need in order to make a purchase that you will love for years to come. Guests feel like royalty walking through this store and looking at the unique items that you won't be able to find. Note that most of the items here available for purchase are usually a little bit more expensive than what you will find at some lesser-quality antique stores.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: You'll find a vast variety of things here that you can bring back home.

Alexa's expert tip: Ask about some of the items--they have some interesting stories behind them.

Read more about Gallori-Turchi →




The other side of the Arno River is home to the side of the artisans, where you can check out different shops and find unique pieces to bring back home. One of the highlights of these shops is Authentiqua di Leonardo Cappellini, where you'll find beautiful wooden pieces brought to life by in-house artisans. Whether you are looking for something special for your home or simply want to peruse the gallery-like surroundings, you will want to spend at least a half hour here looking at things--it would be hard to spend any less time since the items are so captivating.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: You'll find items here that are hand-made and carefully displayed.

Alexa's expert tip: Feel free to ask to take a look into the studio--it's where all the magic is.

Read more about Autheniqua di Leonardo Capellini →




Offering not only some the expected products you'll find at a cartoleria like postcards and tobacco products, La Scartoffia also is invested in creating a community. Art classes and plenty of products to fuel your creativity are located here. You might want to ask the staff what some of the items they would recommend you are. Artists will love looking through here and seeing ways that they can capture the city of Florence by using some of the paper and ink you'll find at this little shop. The idea of the cartoleria has been an Italian staple for years, and continues to be one of the best places where you can find prints and art items that you can use for gifts.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: There are plenty of arts and crafts supplies to keep the artist in Florence happy.

Alexa's expert tip: You might want to try and use your best Italian here!

Read more about La Scartoffia →


Although it might take a little research to find out when the next market is, you'll find that it includes some incredibly unique items and a wide variety of them. Every few weeks during the summer, locals gather in the Santo Spirito piazza and tout their goods. You'll find everything from old postcards to vinyl records and handmade, artisan products designed and sold by locals. If you are looking for something truly unique that would serve well as a gift, you can usually find it here. Also, don't be afraid to barter--the sellers here are often willing to take down their prices if you argue your case enough.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: Nothing captures the Santo Spirito area like the markets they have going on throughout the year.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure to check out a few stalls before making a purchase--they usually have similar items at another.

Read more about Piazza Santo Spirito →




For unique, antique items unlike any other, you might want to consider peeking into Stefania Masini's shop where you'll find a variety of items suited to your taste. Along with knick-knacks and other small items, you'll find pieces that you will want to ship home and that you'll love for years to come. This shop uses Florentine techniques dating back hundreds of years in order to restore each of the pieces, and the quality and care put into their restorations can easily be seen. Make sure to ask about Stefania's own personal creations--they're something you'll want to consider bringing back and featuring in your own home.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: Stop by here if you want to find some items that are both beautiful and reasonable affordable for vintage items.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure to try any clothing on to make sure it fits properly.

Read more about Stefania Masini →




Angela Caputi has made a name for herself creating expressive, colorful jewelry with an Italian flair. You'll find that she offers plenty of options for any jewelry-lover at several different prices so you can choose something that you will love for a lifetime. The business has expanded to several different locations including Milan and Paris. Whatever you are looking for, you'll find something special that you can't help but love. Feel free to ask about some of the new creations that Caputi comes up with each season--they are all a little bit unique and worth viewing.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: Unique is the key word at this spot close to the River.

Alexa's expert tip: See if you can meet Angela herself or ask about her history--she's had an interesting one.

Read more about Angela Caputi →


Prive Santo Spirito
Photo courtesy of When in Florence


Finding some local shops in the Santo Spirito area can be like finding treasure during a treasure hunt. When you do find a shop worth looking into, it's usually one that you will want to stop by again and again. Prive is an example of this. You'll find some artisan accessories unlike any other in the city--they're usually all locally made and the staff is attentive and happy to help you with any questions that you might have about their products. Take your time and peruse the store. You're sure to find something worth giving as a gift that your friends and family will never forget.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Shopping because: You'll find clothing items chosen with care at this little boutique.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure to bring your credit card--they take them and it's easier to pay than with cash (not the usual case in Italy).

Read more about Prive Santo Spirito →


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Meet Alexa Schnee

Currently residing in Florence, Alex is a travel writer and author. She is addicted to coffee, reading, and seeing new places. She has been to near fifteen different countries in Europe, all...  More About Alexa

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