Florence is known for many types of souvenirs. From the leather jackets in Santa Croce to the ridiculous David apron in the Mercato San Lorenzo to the very expensive gold and silver shops on the Ponte Vecchio to the really expensive shops on Via Tornabuoni. Finding a bargain in Florence is easy when shopping in the markets around Florence. There are many cheap, affordable Christmas gifts located right in this city. You must know where to look that is all.
First let’s discuss the souvenirs you should stay away from that are 1) overpriced, 2) inauthentic and 3) just plain silly. Like the one I mentioned above, the David apron, with his member in plain site on the front of it. This is one souvenir that I would not buy. This is considered a joke and not really something I think mom would like for her Christmas gift.
Near the Duomo there are many artists with their work shown next to them as they draw. The type of artists I would stay away from are the caricaturists. They charge you an insane amount of money for a badly draw picture of yourself. Nobody wants to see you in a caricature at the Duomo, take a real picture.
Another overpriced item and actually illegal, buying a fake designer bag from the Africans on the street. I see the pull of wanting to buy a designer bag but not having the cash to do so, but buying from the Africans is not something you want to be caught doing. The new law is that if you are caught buying from them, you will be fined up to 10,000 euros. Do what I do, go to a shop and buy your sister or girlfriend a bag, end of discussion.
Cheap finds: The cheap finds in Florence can be listed under wine. Wine shops all over Florence are offering shipment right to your house. No more wine spilling in your bag and the laws have restricted you bringing liquids in your carry-on. Wine isn’t as expensive here as it is at home. Look down some side streets and at some panetterria (where they make panini) and you could find a great bottle of wine to have shipped home. Any wine shop down the street Via Por Santa Maria or Via dei Calzaioli will have the ability to ship to your home.
Leather goods are a plus to buy a Christmas present for dad. There are many shops in and around Santa Croce where you can find an authentic wallet for dad and perhaps a leather bound journal for your sister. These items can be authentically found in the many leather shops or inauthentically found in the markets around Florence. If you want authentic, the price will be a bit higher but worth it. Cheaper items such as wallets, gloves, journals are still a great buy in the market.
Paper goods such as Christmas cards, stationary are very popular. Parione is a famous shop that carries these items. They ship all over the world. They are handmade, decorative papers made in Florence. You can find this shop on Via del Parione and also if you travel up to Fiesole.
There are many affordable, unique gifts you can bring back for the holidays from Florence. Enjoy holiday bargain shopping in Florence!