For me, shopping in Florence is all about food and shoes (and perfumes from Santa Maria Novella).
The shopkeepers are consumate professionals. They’re white-coated purveyors with a detailed understanding of their stock that puts most modern shops to shame. There’s also something special about buying products in the country of their origin - especially something like Italian shoes, a product for which the country is renowned.
Mooching among the streets, you’ll find all of the big name Italian shoe brands including Ferragamo, Fratelli Rossetti and Sergio Rossi – as well as key fashion houses like Gucci and Prada. Next to the Ferragamo museum is their flagship store. They stock the iconic styles (including limited edition re-issues) as well as seasonal stock. If you have wide feet, this is the place to go for perfect pumps in a range of colours.
Stand at the front of the Ferragamo Museum and look to your right. You’ll see Sergio Rossi winking at you, beckoning you to visit their luxurious lair.
Sergio Rossi was established in the 1950’s by the man himself. The brand is famous for its kick-ass heels with intricate decoration. The current season includes woven leathers and ruffles in great colour combinations, making it difficult to choose exactly which pair to choose. (Oh, dear, might just have to buy more than one pair….)
For flats, my big name favourite has to be Fratelli Rossetti. They have a knack of making loafers and lace-ups feminine without being girly. And being made from the softest calf leather, their shoes mould beautifully to your feet.
In the streets near the Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica, you’ll find many local independent brands. My favourite is Quercioli Firenze.
This old school Italian shoe shop attracts everyone from octogenarians to young hipsters. Browse the extensive windows, choose your style and ask one of the white-coated men to fetch your shoes from the lovely wooden cupboards.
Keep wandering and you’ll find all sort of hidden gems around corners. How about these puss-in-boots numbers?
Ferragamo - Via dei Tornabuoni 4–14
Sergio Rossi - Via dei Tornabuoni 35–37
Fratelli Rossetti - Piazza Repubblica 43-45
Quercioli Firenze - Via dei Calzaiuoli 18–20