Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Some of our Favorite Shops
This is just a random selection of shops we liked in Italy: bookstores, linen stores, kitchen stores, pottery stores, etc.
Remember: If you are doing some real shopping, you must spend over 150 euro in one store to get the tax rebate. They give you a form, you hand it in at a special place at the airport. It is located past the checkin and you must have the goods you purchased with you - so they have to be in your carryon.
And remember, that stores close in the afternoon. In larger cities they may only close for an hour or two. In small towns they can be closed from 1pm to 5pm. They open again for the early evening. See my description of store hours in the Instructions for Visitors - Food Shopping section.
www.sottocoperta.net: This site lists offical "sale" dates in Italy.
These are stores with English language books, papers and magazines or stores with good hiking maps. I also like to buy a book of photographs of Italy on each trip.
Stores for hiking maps and books:
Libreria il Viaggio, Borgo Degli Albizi 41 (near Hotel Monna Lisa)
Libreria E.P.T., Via Condotta 42r
I am sure there are great bookstores in Florence, I just haven't been to one yet.
Bookshop SRL, Via San Pietro 19 (in the Gallery), www.bookshopsiena.com. This English Language bookstore opened in 2004. "Our selection of books includes nearly 3,000 titles (and counting) of up-to-date titles and a solid backlist in various categories: fiction, biography, history, science, lifestyles, and regional, to name a few." Bookshop is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 7:30pm
Libreria Senese, Via di Citta, 62. This is the street that follows the curve of Il Campo, just north of Il Campo. On your right walking away from Il Campo. Some English-language books, magazines and newspapers. Good selection of books of photographs of Italy.
Librerie Feltrinelli, Banchi di Sopra, 52. This is the main shopping street leading to Il Campo from the north of town. On your left as you walk towards Il Campo. Some English-language books, magazines and newspapers. Good selection of books of photographs of Italy.
On the corner of the main piazza, just before the entrance to the historic center, is a bookstore with a good selection of English language papers and magazines and some English language books. Piazza D. Aligheri, 7 - at the end of the block on your right as you face the town entrance.
Cortona has a good bookstore on Via Nationale, the street that goes from Piazza Garibaldi to the main Piazza Repubblica. If I remember right, the store is on your left.
Touring Viaggi, Via del Babuino, 20. Rome has a great store with detailed maps of every region of Italy, plus many other maps and tour guides.
The obvious place for ceramics is Deruta in Umbria, but we found that town to be overwhelming. As you drive into town, the main road is lined with huge ceramic stores. The historic center is filled with small "artisan" type stores. We only looked at a few stores in the historic center. Everything was beautiful, but very expensive. In the end we bought nothing. There are also supposed to be good stores in some of the towns on the Amalfi coast.
Many of the more tourist oriented towns in Tuscany and Umbria will have a ceramics stores. Usually the quality does not seem to be good. This list is a few stores we found with ceramics of good quality.
Gubbio (Umbria): Prof. Valentino Biagioli, Fabbrica Ceramiche, Piazza della Signoria, 3. The main street off the piazza in Gubbio is lined with ceramics stores. This is a much nicer place to shop for ceramics than Deruta and the Siena stores. We chose this store because we liked the styles he did. We bought a little container to take home.
Radda (Chianti, Tuscany): Ceramiche Rampini, south of Radda on the
road from Radda to Gaiole.
San Gimignano (Tuscany): Ceramiche Lotti, phone: 0577-942019. I have not been to this store, but I bought a potato baking pot made by this company from a US online store. The store sells garden terracotta (terrecotte da giardino) and fired crockery (stoviglie da fiamma).
See Travel Notes: Amy's Shops List for more great shops.
Arrezzo: Busatti, Corso Italia 48, 9:00-13:00, 15:30-19:30, closed
Sunday, Monday, 1 week in August.
Montefalco: Tessuti di Montefalco, linen store.
Spello: Tessuti di Montefalco, Via Cavour, 5, Tel and Fax: 0742-301870
Florence: NOI, Via Delle Terme, 8, tel:055-210319.
Florence: Miracle, via dei Pecori 35/R, tel:055 274 1000.
REDI on Via Vacchereccia, 14r, Florence
Not only did they have the finest leather and styles, but, the gentleman (Raffaele Silletti) who helped me, was extrememely helpful and courteous. I would only ask for him, because he had a keen sense of style and his honesty was much appreciated. I tried on so many things and he was a great asset in helping me to decide which things looked the best. I wanted to buy everything in the shop because I had yet to see such fine quality. The prices he extended to me were more than fair. He owns the factory, where they make the clothing, so these high end products can be bought at very reasonable prices. He also carries other leather accessories and has two more shops, in Florence.
I highly recommend this shop. It was definitely one of the most pleasurable shopping experiences I've ever had! Don't forget to insist on having Raffaele help you. If he's not there, they will call him, and he will arrive within minutes!
Florence: L. Parenti, v. Pisana, 146 A/r
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