Do you feel like you could use a break after visiting museums, churches, and art in Florence? Go shopping!
You can go to the luxury fashion houses, of course, but there many other interesting places to shop in Florence.
There are numerous workshops and little shops waiting to be discovered where the old artisan crafts are still practiced in a traditional way and where young designers set the trend.
Maria Bengtsson of Florentine Experience Shopping knows exactly where to find the hidden gems in the backstreets of Florence.
Mary is originally from Sweden, but has lived in the Chianti region just south of Florence for over 20 years. Through her work as a graphic designer, she has developed an excellent eye for beauty. Last year, she decided to come out from behind her computer and follow her heart to share her love for beautiful things with others via Shopping Walks.
Florentine Experience Shopping is all about the unforgettable experience to discover the real Florence.
Florentine Experience Shopping
During a Shopping Walk of Florentine Experience Shopping Maria takes you on a discovery through the narrow streets in the heart of Florence to artisan workshops, trendy little shops and contemporary ateliers of emerging designers. Discover the latest trends in interior design, see a goldsmith at work, visit a cobbler or snoop around in a design shop.
Florentine Experience Shopping is all about the unforgettable experience to discover the real Florence. This type of slow tourism will take you to unexpected places; you will learn something new and dive beneath the surface. The bottega of a craftsman or woman is not only the place where he works, but it’s the place where his heart and soul meet his passion. And by stepping over the threshold you enter into his world.
In the shops and workshops that you’ll visit, you will hear about the product, materials and techniques and maybe even get a demonstration by the artisan himself. Maria speaks excellent English, and if needed she can directly translate from Italian.
It goes without saying that you are under no obligation to buy anything in the workshops that are visited, but you just might find the perfect souvenir to take home with you from Florence. To keep the experience as personal as possible and because some of the shops are really tiny, the walks are limited to 6 to 8 persons.
The Shopping Walks of Florentine Experience Shopping
There are four different walks to choose from: Oltrarno Artisan Shopping Walk, Fashion & Design Shopping Walk, Home & Interior Design Shopping Walk and the Full Experience Florentine Shopping Walk. If you have a specific interest, upon request Maria can design a personalized shopping walk for you.
Oltrarno Artisan Shopping Walk
The most popular walk is the Oltrarno Artisan Shopping Walk that takes you to the most characteristic part of Florence on the south banks of the Arno. Traditionally the Oltrarno is the artisan quarter of Florence where numerous workshops can be found. This is the walk I undertook with my girlfriends under the expert guidance of Maria.
I thought I knew Florence well, but Maria led us through narrow streets to artisan shops that I didn’t even know existed. We discovered how a mosaic in Pietra Dura is created, we visited two very different goldsmiths, we were given a demonstration how Florentine marbled paper is made and visited the workshop of a leatherworker who makes his bags entirely by hand.
Whichever Shopping Walk you choose to do, it will be an unforgettable experience and a guaranteed highlight of your stay in Florence.
Special discount for our readers
As a gift to the readers of intoFlorence Maria offers a special 15% discount on all Shopping Walks of Florentine Experience Shopping. Just mention “INTOFLORENCE” when you book your walk to qualify for the 15% discount. For more information and bookings contact Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org.