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EXPERIENCE THE LOCAL, AUTHENTIC AND HIDDEN FLORENCE

AWAY FROM THE MASSES OF TOURISM
Florentine Experience Shopping with Maria, is a unique and personalized experience, a walk among the hidden Florentine artisans workshops, boutiques and ateliers of fashion and design to discover the extraordinary Florentine heritage made of craftsmanship and creativity. It's a fun, authentic and private florentine off-the-beaten-track shopping experience. A chance to get to know an important part of the design and fashion culture of Florence and made in Italy.
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EXCLUSIVE PERSONAL SHOPPING WITH MARIA

BOUTIQUES - WORKSHOPS - ATELIERS - FOOD & WINE

I’m a graphic designer with a great sensibility and love for beauty and aesthetics in all its forms. I created “Florentine Experience Shopping” in 2015 with one goal in my mind, to be able to share my passion for authentic and unique florentine craftsmanship. After months of crafts hunting and interaction with artisans and designers. I have acquired skills of what's behind a true genuine artisan object. I love to make people feel at home and happy with my experience!
BOOK YOUR PRIVATE AND CUSTOMIZED SHOPPING WALK

Any walk can be combined with food & wine tasting

MY BEST FLORENTINE ARTISANS

MY BEST FLORENTINE ARTISANS

A visit some picturesque off the beaten track workshops and watch craftsmen creating the most beautiful and unique hand made products.
FASHION & DESIGN WALK

FASHION & DESIGN WALK

Through creative fashion boutiques of  unique and emerging designer brands to discover the exciting creativity and florentine talent.

FUN FAMILY FLORENCE

FUN FAMILY FLORENCE

Kids book reading and relax in the independent bookshop. Enjoy artisans creating for kids. Pizza snack in a historical garden. Best Gelato Tasting in Florence! MagicTricks show!
COOL SAN FREDIANO WALK

COOL SAN FREDIANO WALK

The “off the beaten track” stroll in the vibrant and trendy  artisan & design community newly crowned by Lonely Planet, as one of the coolest places in the world!
GOLD & SILVER SMITH WALK  with WORKSHOP (1,5h)

GOLD & SILVER SMITH WALK with WORKSHOP (1,5h)

Create your own florentine jewelry souvenir in the exciting contemporary goldsmiths work space. Visit to some other amazing designers, creating for you and your home.
HOME & INTERIOR DESIGN

HOME & INTERIOR DESIGN

A visit to some extraordinarily beautiful stores and boutiques offering all that you need for your new italian style dream home. Get inspired and make contacts with talented interior designers and architects.
MY BEST FOOD & WINE

MY BEST FOOD & WINE

Taste the Best tuscan delicacies in a local market. Visit to some hidden food shops. Enjoy a typical italian coffee in the florentine way. Try the Best home made gelato in town. Wine tasting in the Best florentine Enoteca.
THE ARTISANS OF CHIANTI

THE ARTISANS OF CHIANTI

We also create private and customized Artisans and Designer Experiences with winetasting and lunch in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany in the Chianti region close to Florence. 

THE STREET OF THE 100 BOUTIQUES

THE STREET OF THE 100 BOUTIQUES

Dreaming about an authentic Italian look or to dress like stylish fashion-conscious Florentine women? Join me for a local Florentine Fashion & Style Experience away from the crowds! A glass of wine or a coffee on the Go!
MEET ARTISANS IN THE 1896 OLD CONVENT

MEET ARTISANS IN THE 1896 OLD CONVENT

Visit the fascinating Old Convent in the heart of Artisan Florence! Today, the home of passionate craftsmen and designers. Discover ancient and contemporary crafts and relax at the cosy Book Cafe.
AT HOME WITH THE ARTIST

AT HOME WITH THE ARTIST

A private Art, fashion and style experience! Visit the eclectic artist at her beautiful country house on the hills of San Frediano. Enjoy colorful abstract paintings and unique hand painted silk scarves while sipping homemade tea!
REVIEWS

What my guests think about me and my Personal Experience Shopping Walk

Ulrike - Deggendorf, Germany - 12 February 2020
I've had a fantastic tour with Maria and saw many interesting artisan place. I would have never found on my own nor would I have had the courage to go inside. Highly reccomended!
Paula & Tom Guardabascio - Boston, USA - 27 December 2019
Florence Beyond the Usual!
Experience Florence with Maria. You will be informed through passion and realness what Florence is all about. This was our third visit to this beautiful city. The Duomo, David, the Arno, never cease to amaze and inspire. For this trip though, we wanted to dig deeper. Maria answered that call with her "My Best Florentine Artisans" and "Fashion & Design Walk”. Maria listened to us and then put together an itinerary that gave us more than we expected. Florence's heart and soul has been and, as we learned, continues to be her artisans. We met people of extraordinary talent who imparted on us not only their skills, but their vision and connection to the past. We were honored to spend time with individuals and families, some of whom have been carrying on traditions for over a century. The impressions made will never be forgotten. Grazie mille, Maria. We wish you success and happiness. Until next time, Paula and Tom
Craig Keim & Chris Andersen - Boston, USA - 19 November 2019
Amazing walking tour of Florence!
My husband and I met Maria through a mutual friend and we had the most splendid morning with her. We met at 9am at our hotel and she totally leaves the day up to you. She is so knowledgeable about the city and is prepared with many places to visit but will fully tailor the experience around what your are interested in. We saw authentic artists making jewlery, students at the leather school, paper makers and my favorite the Florentine mosiac artists workshop. The amount of genius and talent in this room is truly mind blowing and it to see then work and show us their process makes you appreciate this ancient craft. We will never forget this experience and Maria is so kind and friendly that she makes the day so enjoyable and fun! Grazie a tutto, Maria! Baci!
Martha Mazzone - Boston, USA - 11 October 2019
I booked a tour with Maria through my hotel. The goal was to get off the beaten path and find some shops and studios where I could see real craft, rather than the endless shops filled with the same leather and paper items. Maria was absolutely a treasure. She arrived at the hotel and we set out to explore, visiting amazing mosaic, ceramic and paper artists and popping into some clothing and scarves stores as well. I learned so much, bought so much (!) and enjoyed myself so much that I gave friends of mine on their honeymoon to Florence a tour with Maria as well. She was knowledgeable, energetic, fun, and sensitive to tired feet! And just a lovely and sweet person as well. I felt like I gained a friend in Florence along with my pottery and scarves!! Couldn’t recommend more highly.
Linda Lassman - Manitoba, Canada - 27 August 2019
Florence is a city full of wonderful places to shop, but how do you know what to look for, or where?
This was a fantastic way to start! Maria took us to see the workshops of some of the top artisans in the city--the studio of stone artists, a shop selling custom, hand-made shoes, a goldsmith's shop, a printmaker's shop (that we noticed walking past to somewhere else, so we stopped there as well), a leather shop, and a custom pursemaker's shop, as well as pointing out other shops that might be of interest. As a graphic artist herself, Maria knows a lot about the artistic community in Florence, which (as one might expect) is huge, and the shops we visited were of the highest standards. All shared information on how they created their products, but there was no pressure for us to buy anything, which was very much appreciated. There was a lot of walking on this tour--fortunately mostly on flat surfaces--and in the August heat this was a challenge. But it was well worth the time spent and the next time I go to Florence, I would definitely sign up for this tour again, to see what new artists there are. Maria was friendly, interesting, and eager to share her city with us. I really enjoyed this tour and would recommend it to anyone wanting a broader, more in-depth shopping experience.
Kathryn Wacker - Virginia, USA - 22 August 2019
I would recommend going on this tour with Maria. It’s something you would not be able to do on your own as you meet local artisans that work in a special specific field. I was able to watch shoes being made by hand by interns who spend a year working in this field to learn this skill. I watched skilled stoneworkers in their detailed work of making mosaic “painting style” art that amazed me. I visited a leather shop and watched as the family built purses; they also build and sold belts and wallets and other leather items. I visited a local word craftsman as he repaired very old and special pieces of wood furniture. Last, I visited a local jewelry designer and was able to see the details that went into making a fine piece of jewelry. thank you Maria for arranging all of this.
These are very special memories I will always have.
Debra Stokes - Melbourne, Australia - 30 July 2019
What a great experience!
We met at Florence railway station as agreed, this was not my first trip to Florence however it was my friends. We were taken to places we would never have found ourselves and the selection could not have been better. I did damage to my bank account on my first stop but I purchased things I will treasure for a long time to come. Even if you have been to Florence many times there is something special about sharing it with a passionate woman who is willing to listen to you and there was no pushing for a sale nor with time. We had paid for 3 hours however Maria was never in a rush she said we could take as long as we wanted. When we said goodbye I was greeted with messages of other places we might like to visit... And we did! Thank you Maria for putting so much effort into planning our stops and for being a friend not a guide. When next in Florence I will certainly be coming on another tour with you. We have had many guides on this trip but you have been the one to plan to the minutest detail and we never felt any pressure to hurry up or purchase. You made our trip to Florence a bet special one and a day I will remember for a long time to come. Thank you so much!
Linda Reib - California, USA - 22 June 2019
Remarkable private tour with Maria!
I was very interested in just wandering around seeing local artists and tasting all the wonderful food That Florence had the offer. Maria delivered!! In fact I so enjoyed my time with her that I am booking her again with my niece and myself for another trip in September! This was a solo trip for me and I booked a solo tour. I so enjoyed being with Maria one on one as Maria's incredible knowledge of Florence comes through at every turn of every beautiful Corner in Florence! I realise she does various tours to appeal to everybody and I'm excited to take one of those at some point but all I can say is that together with Maria I had an incredibly memorable tour of Florence that I shall never forget. I was also able to buy things from local artisans that I never would have found and I never felt pressured at any point. Every artisan was very welcoming and very excited to tell their story of their craft. Thank you Maria a job very well done! And I need to add that the tastings at the local market were absolutely delicious! Maria made sure she showcased what Florence is known for in the culinary world. And important to note after she got home she followed up with recommendations having noted what I was interested in in terms of specific shops foods coffeehouses houses gelato etc.
Monica Barnett - North Carolina, USA - 4 June 2019
As a person with a creative background who enjoys making of all kinds, I was super excited to see this tour. Maria is a beautiful person with a lot to share about Florentine artisans. She has clearly done a lot of research and spent time building personal relationships with all of the artisans we visited. She helps to explain the different crafts and also facilitated conversation so that the passion of the artist was very evident. Maria is focused on making sure her guests get the best experience possible and she really listened to me as a friend. I highly recommend any experience Maria hosts. Don’t miss this one if you have a passion for arts, crafts and making with your hands- it’s the best things I have done in Florence!
Amanda Baxter - Virginia, USA - 6 May 2019
I had such a wonderful time with Maria! It was so amazing to see a different side of the city, to see the artisans that carry on work that you could have seen being done in the renaissance! It was jaw dropping the amount of skill and talent, and care and pride that went into the array of trades she shows you. Many of these were not artisans you would have found on your own, one was directly across from my hotel and I had no idea! This tour is also a wonderful time to get souvenirs for family and friends, and definitely for yourself! Unique beautiful items that are completely Firenze and that no one else will have! While it is a great time to buy gifts no one pressures you into buying anything, which is greatly appreciated. Additionally, Maria was personable and friendly. She was easy to chat with and knew a lot about the city and the people who live and work here. She genuinely seemed interested in getting to know me and my interests and it was enjoyable to learn about her and get to know her and beautiful Firenze!!! I absolutely adore art and the museums and this really was icing on the cake to get to see some of the great work in progress. I HIGHLY recommend this tour!!! P.S. Maria also gives great recommendations for food and other shopping.
Rebecca Sherouse - California, USA - 9 April 2019
What a terrific experience!
Maria was a wonderful guide to some truly amazing places: on this spring morning, we stopped at a mosaic workshop, goldsmith shop, wood inlay, shoemakers, leather shops, and a paper-making/bookbinders. And at each place it was clear the owner knew and respected Maria and welcomed us in with enthusiasm. I loved being able to hear (and see!) the artisans at work, with Maria translating throughout. I didn't buy anything on the tour, mostly because I wanted to the chance to see everything before committing to any one purchase. But I was given business cards from each artisan's workshop, and since the tour I've already been back to two of them to make purchases that will be lifelong souvenirs of this trip. I highly recommend taking this tour! And if possible, do so early in your time in Florence so that you can benefit from Maria's advice and knowledge as you shop during the rest of your stay.
Carolyn Ahr - San Francisco, California, USA - 2 January 2019
This tour was more incredible than I could have imagined!
Maria is so sweet and warm, and you can tell she has great passion for the work of the artisans, which the makes the tour that much more meaningful. Maria is a true expert at knowing the best, local Florentine artisans shops and facts; be prepared to be in awe of their work as you go behind their intimate scenes! I recommend this tour to everyone who wants to experience the secrets and talent (that’s been passed down for generations!). Thank you, Maria!! <3
Tracy Dowdy & Randall - San Diego, California, USA - 6 December 2018
Maria made our time in Florence a truly incredible experience.
Maria has a knack for understanding you and what you like and then personalizing her tour based on what you share with her. She knows Florence very well and takes you off the beaten path to explore the best places to shop and to meet some of the best artisans in the city of Florence. My husband hates to shop but he LOVED going to see I Mosaici Di Lastrucci and their work of the prestigious technique in creating unique artworks with natural stones as well as the food market and much more! I would highly recommend hiring Maria with Florentine Experience Shopping when you visit Florence! Thanks Maria for a wonderful day!
Carl M. - New York City, USA - 12 November 2018
Amazing, amazing, amazing!
Maria holds the key to a hidden world of Florentine artisans. Her passion for the arts and this beautiful city were clearly evident as we walked the cobbled streets, stepping back in time with each studio/shop visit. Art created before my eyes using tools and methods unchanged since the Medici period. Maria’s presence forms a bridge between her clients and each artisan, allowing questions to be answered and interests satisfied. As a New York sculptor I came away completely inspired. PS: if you have the time I seriously recommend you take advantage of more than one of Maria’s tours to get a well rounded feel for what makes Florence tick. Cheers!

Luis Morales, Minnesota USA - 18 September 2018
The "Oltrarno Artisan Walk" was by far one of our best experiences in Florence. Maria does such a fantastic job taking you to local artisan shops. All the shops that we visited were of pure class with extremely talented artists. Shops ranged from a mosaic house, to shoe makers, leather, marbled paper making, and others. The tour was the perfect length of time for both visiting the locals and asking plenty of questions. We were able to disconnect from the tourism hustle of Florence and see some of the artistry techniques from hundreds of years ago, all while in the downtown center. Maria is truly a joy and hosts a tour we will cherish in our memories!
Sam Barry, Victoria Australia - 15 September 2018
Fun Family Florence, a great creative experience for kids! Maria was great and we got to experience Florence like a local. We went to a local bookshop for kids, an artists studio, a private park and not to mention we ate pizza and also tasted yummy Italian gelato. I highly recommend this experience for kids and will definitely enhance their creativity. Don’t think twice about doing this! Your kids will love it.
Catherine, Vermont USA - 23 July 2018
This tour was exceptional. Maria introduced me to artforms and workshops that I never would have encountered otherwise. It was delightful to discover that the tradition of artistic apprenticeship is still alive and thriving in Florence and the chance to meet the artists and have "behind the scenes" tours was incredibly valuable. Maria is not only well connected and extremely knowledgeable, but as a creative person herself she also helped me see the city and its traditions through an artist's eye and mind. Highly recommended!!!
Laura Morelli, travel writer - Georgia, USA - 4 July 2018
Maria takes visitors behind the scenes to visit Florence's best makers of belts, bags, mosaics, jewelry, and other beautiful work. Maria will introduce you to people who are not only some of the most accomplished artisans you will ever encounter, but who are also genuinely friendly locals who are delighted to share their passion with visitors! I brought my children along on this experience and everyone had a wonderful time getting to step into tucked-away workshops that you might pass by if Maria didn't take you by the hand in this behind-the-scenes experience. Highly recommended!!
Aki - Santa Monica, California, USA - 8 October 2017
Great tour to visit artisans who create magnificent work of art. Maria was very knowledgeable about the history and arts and I really enjoyed the experience. We visited a local mosaic maker, goldsmith, shoe maker, leather maker, and wood crafter. Meeting with the artisans made me more appreciate the handmade products. She was also very helpful to translate to Italian so that all the questions were answered. It was very interactive and I'm glad I joined the event.
Highly recommended!!
Reiko - Seattle, Washington, USA - 2 October 2017
What a special day! I knew the tour sounded interesting with the added bonus of shopping opportunities, but I had no idea how touched I'd be by experiencing true artisans at work. Maria has done a phenomenal job of seeking out true Florence artisans who have been working a lifetime at perfecting their crafts, and in many cases keeping the centuries old traditions and techniques alive. It is one thing to see a beautiful craft in a store, but to step in to an artists studio, see them at work it only heightens your appreciation for the beautiful results. Each artist took special care to share their craft, to answer questions and to share their passion with you. There was never any pressure to purchase, and you could just feel how honored they were to have you visit. I highly recommend this tour for anyone who is looking for a unique, once in a lifetime artisan experience.
INFO & TIME
ARTISAN WALKS & WORKSHOPS
OLTRARNO ARTISAN - GOLD & SILVERSMITH (workshop) - COOL SAN FREDIANO
Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday
 
SHOPPING WALKS
FASHION & DESIGN - FUN FAMILY FLORENCE - HOME & INTERIOR DESIGN - MY BEST FOOD & WINE
Monday (only afternoon) - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday (only morning)
 
- Morning from: 09:30 – 13:00
- Afternoon from: 15:30 - 19:00
 
DURATION OF WALK:  3 - 4 hours
MAXIMUM PARTICIPANTS:  6 (8)
*
No obligation to purchase anything during the walks.
Any walk can be combined with food & wine tasting.

PARTNERS


COOKING CLASSES IN THE HISTORIC
CENTRE OF LUCCA

Join us for a personalized, memorable day shopping the markets like a local, returning to the palazzo to prepare the days menu, and finally sitting down together enjoying the fruits of our discoveries under the leadership of a chef who has been teaching cooking classes for 20 years.
In short, we invite you to create a memory of your visit to Italy and master one of her greatest gems; it's cuisine. Rated #1 attraction in Lucca

www.extravirginlucca.com
extravirginlucca@gmail.com



WHEN THE ITALIAN CULINARY TRADITIONS MEET THE SOUNDS OF THE BEST ARIAS OF ITALIAN OPERA.

Immersed in the in the Italian countryside, learn to cook typical dishes using genuine Italian methods while accompanied by beautiful Italian Opera. Much more than a cooking class, this is a multi-dimensional experience. Sight, smell, sound,.. and all your other senses will be awakened, leaving you with unforgettable memories.
 

WELCOME TO PALAZZO CASTRI 1874
THE EXCLUSIVE BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN FLORENCE

Palazzo Castri 1874 is a fully restored boutique hotel dating back to the years of Florentine Impressionism. Treat yourselves to a stay in a sophisticated room with a view of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and theluxuriant inner garden “La Limonaia”. Relax in the exclusive spa immersed in fragrant steam and toning jets of water.
 
WELCOME TO OUR SHOWROOM IMMERSED BETWEEN OLIVE TREES AND VINEYARDS IN CHIANTI

The idea of ​​combining craftsmanship with fashion uniqueness is at the heart of the creation of Chiantihome.
Curiosity and the desire to experiment are always the starting point in the realization of our products.
Whether it is a plaid or a dress, a tablecloth or a shirt, our starting point will always be the texture and beauty of a fabric together with the desire to experience.
 

PEPI TANGO: PASSION, EXPERIENCE AND CREATIVITY AT YOUR SERVICE!

Pepitango is a brand born from the passion and experience of designer Cristina Balestreri.
Pepitango is a fashion line with a simple and sophisticated style that uses high quality “technical” materials and offers the possibility to personalize each style. Because of all these qualities PEPITANGO has gained the admiration of professional as well as social tango dancers around the world.

CONTACT ME

For any inquires or if you would like to book a private tour with me. Please fill in the contact form and I will be happy to talk to you very soon. You can also phone or WhatsApp or just send me a mail.

+39 349 5556609

florentineshopping@gmail.com

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SHOPPING WALKS & BEYOND TOURS

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GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES
     

 

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