Florence is a wonderful place to shop, but our favorites are not the high-end chains and designers in the center. They are the artisans and independent workshops located in the Oltrarno just across the Arno from the heart of Florence.
The city’s artisans, which include leather and ceramics, are just as important as Renaissance art. Even if you don’t have enough luggage space for one more purchase, these shops offer a great alternative. The goods are so high quality, it will feel like you’re in a (free!) museum. You can also visit a museum or gallery. You can also watch the artisan handcraft the item. This is a fascinating experience, even if you don’t purchase anything. It can be difficult to resist! ).
The Oltrarno is the best place to find Florentine artisans. The Oltrarno, which literally means “over the Arno”, is a charming and local neighborhood that’s full of hidden treasures. (Check out our reason to visit Florence’s Oltrarno and consider exploring Florence’s hidden gems together.
Are you trying to find the best artisanal shops in Florence? These are our top four Florence artisans who can help you get started.
Via Ramaglianti 6/r, 50125
Tel. : +39 055 0121534
Monaco Metropolitana is not your usual purse-shopping experience. Instead, you can look around and get a feel of the art of leather-making. You can even help design the items the artisans create for you. You can even learn the traditional techniques from leather-lovers. You will be able to make your own leather purses or shoes at the end of the class. The workshop is limited to two students, so you will get a close-private lesson and a clear understanding of the process.
Cose Preziose by Ugo Bellini
Via S. Agostino 19/r, 50125
Tel. : +39 055 288679
Don’t buy trinkets from souvenir shops. Ugo Bellini, a jeweler and artisan, will help you design your unique pieces. Bellini still uses traditional methods but keeps an eye on the latest trends in jewelry to create beautiful, modern designs.
Via Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti 5/r, 50125
Tel. : +39 055 2678730
The founder of Pitti Mosaici has perfected the art of Florence’s pietre dere or inlaid stones. He creates handcrafted mosaics following Florentine tradition. Semi-precious stones are used to create intricate and luxurious tables, panels, and floors. Visit their workshop to see the intricate mosaics being made.
Oro e Colore
Via Toscanella 18/r, 50125
Tel: +39 055 289415
This shop is run by the Martelli family, who restores both gilded as well as painted art. Although you won’t need to have a gilded frame repaired, it is possible to watch and learn the craft. The Martelli’s works are displayed in the Museo Civico di Siena and Palazzo Pitti. They also offer customized courses for professionals or beginners interested in learning the art of restoration.