- Nikki Crowell
Although Florence may look old, with its well-preserved Renaissance architecture and cobbled streets, it’s actually a trendy and artsy city full of great fashion, bars and restaurants, and new things to do and see. Forget the lame walking tours and following the crowd from museum to museum, check out our guide to the hottest places in Florence that will make you feel like one among the Florentine fashionistas.
Shopping for fashion lovers
For great vintage shopping in Florence, Melrose or Boutique Nadine are definitely the places to go. Melrose has a grungy, vintage American style while Boutique Nadine embodies a more refined classic vintage aesthetic. There are plenty of vintage options in Florence, however, so finding something to catch your eye won’t be difficult.
For those looking to shop the famous luxury brands of Italy, Via Tornabuoni has it all. Basically Florence’s version of Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive, or London’s New Bond Street, you can find all the luxury brands such as Burberry, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Tiffany’s, Gucci, and more. Enjoy this gorgeous Italian street while taking in all the perfectly curated window displays.
For more of a market vibe, Piazza Santo Spirito or Mercato Sant’Ambrosio are great options for vintage and bargain finds. Piazza Santo Spirito has a regular farmer’s market every morning and a vintage market the second weekend of each month. The Sant’Ambrosio market is held every morning (except Sundays) and ends at 1pm. They have everything here, from local farmer’s produce and food to household items, vintage goods, and clothing. Get here early to experience the hustle and bustle of a local’s daily market outside of the tourist area, and maybe even snag yourself a bargain.
Fashionable places to eat
This trendy spot opened up a few years ago and has been full ever since. One part gourmet restaurant, one part relaxed café, one part florist, and one part jazz club, this place really does have it all. The staff are used to speaking English as many expats and students go here regularly. Its central location in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood is easily reachable, but enough off the main streets so that it feels authentic and relaxed. The food portions are on the smaller side, but the restaurants doesn’t skimp on atmosphere for enjoying a drink, dessert, or some late night jazz.
This long-time local favourite has recently turned world famous after being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. La Garga has artsy décor, hospitable service and a great menu, all contributing to the stylish vibes it’s known for. But Hollywood hasn’t changed it a bit, which is why you will still find the owners running tables and serving dishes, and the bar full of locals.
Out on the town
Only open from May to September, this trendy outdoor lounge-club is the go-to spot for those looking to be seen and have a great time. Upscale with a relaxed atmosphere, Flo is great for a night out in Florence. Come dressed to impress, as is the Italian way, and enjoy the amazing panoramic night views of the city with a cocktail in hand. If you really want to party in style, reserve a table before they’re all booked and make it a night to remember.
This trendy bar is located along the river with a great view from the patio and delicious cocktails to match. In the summer, they have a DJ out front playing music to add to the atmosphere and the place is full of locals for aperitivo. If you want a spot on the patio, get there early as it fills up fast. Enjoy this trendy bar in your best casual chic outfit to blend in with the locals.
Everyone in Florence knows that the fashionista place to be is taking in the views from high above the city with a drink in hand and Instagram filters at the ready. Take your pick between the best hotel rooftops in Florence.
Fashionable cultural spots
Live music at Le Murate
Although out of the tourist area, this old prison turned cultural centre is always full. The bar has a coffee shop atmosphere with an outdoor, piazza-like area. Italians take every opportunity to be outdoors, so if you’re here during the summer, enjoy this large patio with an intimate feel for a drink, live music, poetry readings, or other performances.
New art exhibits at Palazzo Strozzi
Palazzo Strozzi is a medieval palace turned museum that has a revolving door of new exhibits every couple of months. Because it is always changing, there is a constant buzz of something new and exciting. Seeing so many Renaissance museums can become monotonous, but this place features a bit of everything, including history, modern and contemporary art, and specific artists, while also housing the building’s own historical museum on another floor.
Florence has something for everyone and with new openings happening just about every season, it’s enough to keep even the most social of butterflies busy. Be sure to stay in the loop by following some of Florence’s most popular Instagram accounts, keeping up to date with the Facebook pages of your favourite places, and checking for new articles at Culture Trip before you go.