Santa Croce

LUXE City Guides - Florence - - San Niccolò -

Start with a whizz around Santa Croce and the leather school (see Sites), end­ing in the pi­azza with your back to the church – di­rectly ahead of you are three streets, take the right one (Via Torta) and then right up Via Isole delle St­inche to find Vivoli (see Ge­la­te­ria). Exit left, past Caffè Ital­iano (see Rest./Re­laxed) and keep go­ing for Pandora on the cnr of Via Ghi­bel­lina at #101r with C.20th funkster an­tiques and lights. Cross Ghi­bel­lina and carry on up Via Mat­teo Palmieri to find on your right at #22r Rei’s / 055 234 3663 / with a swish line in retro-in­flected gal-togs. At #27r is jew­el­box Moltissimo for fun-faux bling and next door is jumbly an­tique stash Vetri d’Arte at #29r / 055 290 554. Carry on to the end and you’re in cute Pi­azza di San Pier Mag­giore, where you should take a right down Borgo degli Al­bizi and go abso choco-loco at Vestri (see Coffee).

Smeary, exit left a few steps and then right un­der the slightly un­savoury Volta di S. Piero arch (fab panini here at An­tico Noè / 055 234 0838) and out the other side. Cross di­rectly op­po­site, on the cor­ner is Sbigoli / 055 247 9713 / sbigo­liter­ / with rus­tic ter­ra­cotta, then rocket up Borgo Pinti to find hip kids’ togs at #6r Cup of Milk / 055 386 0576, Gios­tra at #12r (see Rest./Ca­sual), So­qquadro at #13r / 055 234 7502 / with fab vin­tage fur­ni­ture, dé­cor and lights, and Mrs. Macis on the right at #38r with eclec­tic home­spun fash. Turn right just af­ter Mrs. Macis down Via di Mezzo, zip down, cross Via Fiesolana and push on to #6r Sara Am­rhein / sara-am­ / for whim­si­cal jew­ellery. Back­track to Via dei Pepi (also called Canto al Pino), swing a left and at the end turn left again onto Via Pi­etrapi­ana. On you go past Pi­azza dei Ciompi and cont. un­til you hit the church (look be­hind you to see the pretty, lit­tle-known syn­a­gogue). If you wish to sam­ple di­vine her­bal per­fumes + po­tions, carry straight on Borgo La Croce for 5 mins to #44r Dr. Vran­jes / drvran­, oth­er­wise turn right at the church onto Via dei Macci, and take the first left to find Caffè Ci­brèo (see Rest./Ca­sual) and Lisa Corti on the cor­ner at #33r / 055 200 1860 / lisacorti. com / with natty home fab­rics. In Pi­azza Ghib­erti is photo op Mer­cato di Sant’ Am­bro­gio, which has beau­ti­ful pro­duce and is rather lively on a Satur­day morn­ing. Fac­ing the mar­ket at #22r is Via del Tè / 055 234 4967 / with a huge menu of teas, and a few doors down An­gela Sala­m­one at #16r has neat jour­nals n’ pa­per. Ok, Caffè Ci­brèo beck­ons...

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