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