Giovanni Melli is typical of the companies on Ponte Vecchio, with origins dating back to the mid-19th century. After the unification of Italy in 1861, the family business moved from Ferrara to Florence to take advantage of its position on the Grand Tour.
Florence – Fact Check

Florence shopping hours are a moveable feast

Photo by Ruben Drenth

Florence – Fact Check Florence shopping hours are a moveable feast

Despite its long-standing reputation as a paradise for shoppers, Florence doesn’t make it easy when it comes to actually making the buy.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

Try the door to a shop in Florence too close to lunchtime and you can expect to find it firmly shut to outsiders. While globalization has made inroads here, as in the rest of Italy, the practice of the riposo – a lengthy midday break meant to accommodate a long, civilized lunch and a brief nap thereafter – has remained steadfast.

The hours vary from shop by shop, but you can expect the riposo to begin sometime between noon and 1.30 pm and end between 2.30 pm and 4 pm. To be on the safe side, do any important shopping before midday, and avoid Mondays and Sundays, the two days when many shops, museums, and restaurants close their shutters all day long.

Times will normally be posted on any sign in the 24 hour clock, so 1.30 pm is 13.30 and 4 pm is 16:00. Don’t bother believing those signposted hours, by the way. Here, as elsewhere in Italy, the concept of time is a fluid one.

Go shopping in Florence!

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Shops in Florence are open from around 9am to 7.30pm, but most shut for at least two hours sometime between noon and 4pm. A long lunch break in a trattoria, followed by a snooze or “riposo”, remains a local institution. Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Shops in Florence are open from around 9am to 7.30pm, but most shut for at least two hours sometime between noon and 4pm. A long lunch break in a trattoria, followed by a snooze or “riposo”, remains a local institution.

Other stories about Florence

Tourism may be a mainstay of Florence’s economy but it also has a thriving industrial sector based on its history of craftsmanship. Italy’s fashion industry relies on the city for the production of goods such as leather, including shoes, as well as jewelry, embroidery, textiles, ceramics and metalwork.

Peek over the walls and you'll see the real Florence

“Rome is a whore,” says Giambaccio, a ploud Florence native. It has just gone midnight, and we have wandered through the moonstruck streets around Florence’s Piazza San Spirito for hours before winding up here: in a haphazardly cluttered art studio Giambaccio has modeled on a ship’s deck. “She opens her legs for everybody. But Florence...” He mimes chastity – the shutting of two knees – with his fingers. “We are a walled city. We are closed.”