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Italy shopping

Prices in Italy soared with the introduction of the euro, but a strong artisan tradition means that even if you won't find the cheapest goods there, you will probably find the best. Shopping in the international fashion capitals of Milan, Rome, and Florence can be a near-religious experience. But Prada and Gucci stores in the big cities sell items for about the same as (or more than) everywhere else in the world. The intrepid should lay hold of a map and a car and drive to the outlets (Gucci and Prada among them) outside Florence. They're not easy to find, but for fashionistas, the bargain prices will be worth it. Other areas of Italy have their own specialties. Venice and the island of Murano are both known for handblown glass. Tuscany is a center for marble, carved into elegant sculptures or in great slabs for the portico back home. Lombardy produces wonderful pottery and handmade violins. And from Piedmont you can get elegant handmade gold jewelry.

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Ilaria Miani, Rome

Ilaria Miani began her working life as a picture framer but has since branched out into a range of stunningly stylish furniture and housewares, such as the...more

see the Rome guide
Editors' Pick
Il Bisonte, Florence

Bisonte's chunky leather bags (with the trademark bison motifs) are renowned throughout the world, and the business began in Florence. The current central...more

see the Florence guide
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Il Torchio, Florence

The art of decorative papermaking originated in France several centuries ago, but a strong tradition of the craft has long flourished in Florence. Colored inks...more

see the Florence guide
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L'Arte del Sandalo Caprese, Anacapri, Capri

For nearly 50 years, Antonio Viva's sandals have graced the feet of celebrities, including Jackie O. and Sophia Loren. The store stocks ready-made varieties,...more

see the Capri guide
Editors' Pick
L'Inde le Palais, Bologna

This alarmingly cool concept store is Bologna's answer to Colette in Paris. On three floors of a historic palazzo in the heart of the museum district, L'Inde le...more

see the Bologna guide
Editors' Pick
L'Olfattorio: Bar à Parfums, Rome

The walls of this discreet, elegant perfumery are covered floor to ceiling with glass flasks. Drop by, and expert assistants will steer you around the shelves...more

see the Rome guide
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La Bottega dell'Olio, Florence

The Tuscan countryside is renowned for its olive groves, and this little shop sells an original and interesting selection of all sorts of things to do with...more

see the Florence guide
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La Bottega del Marmoraro, Rome

It's not difficult to imagine Enrico Fiorentini draped in a toga and chipping bits off marble blocks for proud consuls and exotically perfumed Roman matrons....more

see the Rome guide
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La Conchiglia, Capri Town, Capri

One of the few remnants of the literary culture that dominated Capri in the early part of the 20th century, when writers and artists flocked here to take part...more

see the Capri guide
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La Fiorente, Capri Town, Capri

If Grazia Vozza represents the contemporary, creative side of the Capri jewelry scene, La Fiorente holds the flame for tradition. Consisting of three separate...more

see the Capri guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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