Monthly Markets: Antiques at the Fortress da Basso

Welcomeback to our monthly installment of the best markets in Florence! Last month, we checked out the Santo Spirito Flea Market that takes place in Piazza Santo Spirito on the 2nd Sunday of every month. It kicks off the monthly Sunday markets and is a veritable Smörgåsbord of all the wonderful offerings you will find at a typical Florentine outdoor weekend market. If you missed the post, read up here!
This month, we’ll hone in on one particular market genre (old stuff!) that is the main event on the 3rd Saturday & Sunday antique market at the Fortezza da Basso. Now, this is not to be confused with the smaller and more central antique market that happens at Piazza dei Ciompi on the 4th Sunday of the month (to be covered soon!). The Fortezza market is a bit harder to get to, but is well worth the effort as it is larger, a bit more authentic, better priced, and set in a winning venue: around a small pond in the park next to the huge fortress at the northwest corner of Florence.
Antique Market at the Fortezza da Basso Gardens:antique_market_2 Continue reading…

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Monthly Markets: Santo Spirito

If you’re like me, you’ll agree that one of the best ways to get to know a city is through its local markets. Here in Florence we enjoy not only daily food markets at the Central Market and Sant’Ambrogio Market, but also monthly and annual markets in various piazzas around the city.
One of the ways I measure my month is by which Sunday market is taking place. I am always sad to miss it, or as happens on the first Sunday of the month, there is none at all. It is my favorite way to buy anything from food, to gifts, even shoes and housewares. In Florence, anything you need, you can find at a market and usually for a great price. What are you looking for or what mood are you in? In this blog series I will introduce you to all of my favorite markets in Florence and give you a taste of what to expect so you can pick and chose which will become part of your monthly schedule. Continue reading…

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Tips for shoe shopping in Florence

Note: post updated April, 2013
As a very wise sage once said,
“Let’s get some shoes.”

When it comes to getting shoes in Florence, or in Italy in general, you’re in pretty good hands. People ask me where to go and I can’t seem to narrow it down to just one place. There are so many stores and so much variety of shoes that it helps to first know what you’re looking for (impossible task, I know). Sandals? Heels? Shoes? Boots? Color? Material? The last ones is easy…leather! However, regardless of what you have in mind, here are a couple tips that can help you go home with the best pair of shoes at the best price.
custom_shoes_sandals Continue reading…

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Top Ten Tips for Studying Abroad in Florence or Italy – Part II

top_ten_tipsWelcome back to our Top Ten Tips for Studying Abroad in Florence or Italy! Hopefully you enjoyed and were endlessly impressed by the breadth of information in Part I and are dying for more juicy details in Part II. You probably were since, as I recall, we did a totally kick-ass job.
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Best Vintage Shopping in Florence

Note: post updated June, 2013
When I first arrived in Florence there were not many vintage stores around. Three or four (that had a mix of handmade, vintage, and antiques) were holding down the fort of vintage clothing shopping in Florence, so to speak. But with the constant influx of tourists, many of whom seem to be in search of it, the vintage world has really taken off. In this blog I will share some of my favorite vintage shopping gems with you for your next trip. I’ve included a map below with their locations and basic info (click the pin for address, hours etc!).
Now please keep in mind that vintage is a volatile market and I’ve had to update this blog to make some changes to the locations I previously had listed (many of which have moved or are gone). For example, one store in particular I had hoped to add closed in the middle of writing this, so bare with me. If something isn’t where I say it is, chances are it has either moved, closed, or the owner has just gone to grab a coffee. I’ll try and keep this as up to date as possible and perhaps refrain from those locations that seem a bit suspect. If you find something new or find that the below information has since changed, let me know in the comments! Enjoy!
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