For many travelers, the chance to indulge in a little retail therapy is one of the most important and alluring aspects of travel, and vacations in Tuscany are no different. While the famed Italian region is all about art, history, and culture, to the dedicated shopper it also means leather, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, hand-milled soap, the choicest of gastronomic delights, and the list goes on! After all, some of the world’s best-known (not to mention the most exclusive and expensive) brands built their empires here, including Gucci, Pucci, and Ferragamo. Below, we’ve listed a few places that are sure to make the shopaholic salivate, whether it’s spending money or just window shopping and daydreaming.
The Gucci Museum in Florence
Everyone loves bags, and what better reason to buy a new suitcase or some arm candy than on vacation in Tuscany? It was the glamor and adventure of traveling that first inspired Guccio Gucci to create his glorious pieces, and they are still widely available and highly sought after. Some of his most elegant and iconic lines over the years are exhibited in this wonderful museum. You can drool (although not literally) over the bags, suitcases and trunks that have made this iconic label what it is today.
The Ferragamo Store and the Shoe Museum in Florence
You’re going to need to pack some good shoes as you’re sure to be doing a lot of sightseeing during your Tuscany vacation, but if you’re looking for more, you won’t be short of opportunities! Shoppers may be surprised to learn that Ferragamo’s flagship store, in Florence’s Palazzo Spini, is still located in the same location as the original store built by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1936. – And sometimes infamous – customers like Greta Garbo , Audrey Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. Known for the elegance, creativity and innovation of his designs, Ferragamo chose Florence as a base due to his reputation for leather craftsmanship. Visit the museum to see examples of his best inventions and innovations, before treating yourself to a couple or two!
The craft market of Lucca
Haute couture and high-priced pieces can make a shopper giddy with delight, but finding unique and one-of-a-kind pieces at a craft market or haggling with a dealer at the local street market can be a lot of fun. At the artisan market in the beautiful walled city of Lucca, you can find everything from soap made with locally harvested olive oil, Renaissance-style majolica (earthenware), hand-carved and stitched leather, and artisan jewelry. For a unique keepsake or keepsake of your trip, buy some beautiful wooden kitchen implements, like a bowl or cutting boards made from olive wood – they’ll give you decades of use and you’ll remember your trip every time you take them out. .
The Central Market of San Lorenzo in Florence
You will fall in love with a lot of incredible gastronomic delights during your vacation in Tuscany. Fortunately, you’ll have no trouble finding local ingredients and delicacies to make your own at the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale. At a traditional market in the center of town, you’ll find everything you could want, such as different meats (including wild boar), poultry and fish, cheese, salami, dried boletus and of course lots of wine and olive oil. Stalls outside the market also sell leather goods, clothing, and other souvenirs. These markets are only open in the mornings, but getting up early is worth it!