My Favorite Tuscany Shops (Conde Nast Traveler)
1BUSATTI Forget Frette and Pratesi—Busatti is Tuscany’s own secret artisanal linens house, with gorgeous hand-loomed runners, tablecloths, and bedding collections that have been the work of a single family since 1842. Anghiari, where the shops and weavers are based, is also a revelation—a small and charming medieval town that feels peacefully out of the tourist storm (14 Via Mazzini, Anghiari; 39-057-578-8013).
2THE MALL While there are a number of designer outlets in Tuscany (including Prada and Dolce & Gabbana), if you only have time for one, make it The Mall, with a number of luxury brands all in one place; the Marni, Gucci, and Sergio Rossi shops have particularly good selections. August is a good time to go for even deeper sales (8 Via Europa, Leccio, Reggello; 39-055-865-7775).
3FIERA ANTIQUARIA The Fiera Antiquaria held in Arezzo every first Sunday of the month is one of Italy’s best antique fairs. The 500-plus vendors on site offer just about everything: violins, Roman coins, former church candelabras, vintage watches, Art Deco objects, nineteenth-century dining tables, and Murano glass vases. Arrive early to get first dibs (Arezzo).
4OFFICINA PROFUMA-FARMACEUTICA DI SANTA MARIA NOVELLA The lotions and potions concocted by Florentine monks and first sold under the Santa Maria Novella label in 1612 now have a global presence. But their home base—in a frescoed chapel from the fourteenth century—is one of the prettiest shops in the world. Shop attendants in white coats lead you through the goods, including lavender salts, rosewater, and honey conditioners, with all the attention you would expect from an old-school pharmacist (16 Via della Scala, Florence; 39-055-216-276).
5LE CANTINE DI GREVE IN CHIANTI There’s no shortage of great wine shops in Tuscany, but this huge emporium devoted to all of the Tuscan stars (Chianti, Brunello, Montepulciano, and the like) is the best place to start your oenophile education. Buy a prepaid wine card, then press one of the 140 buttons for a glass of what’s on offer (2 Galleria delle Cantine, Greve in Chianti; 39-055-854-6404).
6BRITTA IN BICICLETTA Bonus pick: Kids’ clothes in Florence tend to be either super cutesy or kitschy (think nonsensical English logos on T-shirts), but this shop on the banks of the Arno goes against the trend with simple designs in beautiful fabrics (5R Lungarno Torrigiani, Florence; 39-055-246-6703).