Florence Hotel La Gioconda Shopping streets
VIA DÈ TORNABUONI AND VIA DELLA VIGNA NUOVA
To go shopping in Via dè Tornabuoni means to live an ambience in which the elegant and graceful style of the label shops merges with the historical building and so the Old frames the new maisons and the most prestigious showrooms.
Via dè Tornabuoni is the street known as the best drawing room of the Tuscan capital; it was dedicated to Tornabuoni family and in the past it was named in various ways such as Via Larga dei Legnaioli and Via delli Belli Sporti.
Today the “belli sporti” of Via Tornabuoni represent all those label shops which are the symbol of good taste and of high quality guarantee. The most chic Florentine promenade begins from Piazza Santa Trinita, characterized by the presence of the Colonna della Giustizia coming from the Terme di Caracalla and donated by Pio IV Pope to Cosimo I dè Medici in 1560. It is situated between Palazzo Spini Feroni and Buontalenti’s façade of the Basilica dedicated to the Santissima Trinità, known because of Ghirlandaio’s frescos representing San Francesco’s histories at Cappella Sassetti inside.
At the base of the three hundreds stark building you can find the shop windows of the world-famous artist Salvatore Ferragamo who has placed here the prestigious Museo della Scarpa.
Past the square you can admire the five hundreds Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni (1520-1523) on the right at the corner with Via delle Terme. This building reflects something of the Roman origin classicism.
Going on the left, other buildings overlook the street such as for example Palazzo Strozzi del Poeta, commissioned by the man of letters Giovanbattista Strozzi (the protector of a well-read group) and the five hundreds Palazzo della Commenda di Castiglione. The latter has got a beautiful bust of Francesco I dè Medici on the portal, a work of Giambologna’s school. Palazzo Strozzi, one of the most wonderful examples of the civil Reinassance architecture in Florence and in the world stands opposite; at first its design was given to Benedetto from Maiano, then it was carried on by Giuliano from Sangallo and finished by Simone del Pollaiolo, called the Cronaca. Torch cases and wrought iron lanterns, made by Caparra, had been inserted in the building corners.
Past so the crossing with Via Strozzi, still other important buildings make the street precious alternating with numerous label shops. On the right there is Palazzo Corsi and on the corner with Via Teatina there is the six hundreds Loggetta dei Tornaquinci with a structure reflecting the Roman influences. Palazzo Viviani della Robbia (1693-1696), the only building designed by Giovan Battista Foggini sculptor, lies on the left. In its inside you can find Parenti, a silver and present good shop, which has supplied the Italian Royal House since 1855.
The splendid furnishing with an English taste is the original one dating 1917. At this point the street widens and leads to the little Piazza Antinori in which two magnificent buildings face each other: the four hundreds Palazzo Antinori (1461-1470) – in its interior there is the typical Cantinetta where it is possible to taste dishes and refined wines – and the six hundreds Chiesa di San Gaetano, a rare specimen of the Florentine baroque. Along Via Tornabuoni you meet precious boutiques of stylists such as Armani, Trussardi, Versace, Cavalli, Tonino Crisci and Ferragamo shoes, Tiffany, Bulgari, Gucci, Cartier’s jewels and still Damiani House.
An other luxury shopping street is Via della Vigna Nuova which begins from dè Tornabuoni one, opposite Palazzo Strozzi and finishes into Piazza Goldoni.
Once in this area there were kitchen gardens and vineyards that rounded San Pancrazio monastery. The street was called “della vigna nuova” in order to distinguish it from the “old” one of the Florentine Badia monks. Here Rucellai family, the only owner of the surrounding area, had the family Palace designed by Leon Battista Alberti who probably was also the elegant Loggia Rucellai maker, placed in the facing widening and used by the noble family for parties and private celebrations. In the final part of the street other two buildings overlook the Arno: Temperani and Berardi. It is possible to consider Via della Vigna Nuova like an addition to Via dè Tornabuoni because it has become the most popular stylist road in the last years. Many are the sale shops such as Lacoste, Lord Brummel, Pucci, La Perla, Chopard, Mario Bucellato, Mont Blanc, Dolce&Gabbana, Gherardini, Borsalino.