Recommended by Airbnb hosts: the six best small shops in Florence

This month Airbnb hosts from the Florence Home Sharing Club organized a walk in support of small and local businesses in their city, following on from the hosts from Rome and Milan.

When hosts welcome travelers into their homes, they’re often asked where they’d recommend checking out in the local area. Many provide local tips and advice to help make their guests stay even more memorable.

The Florence walk gave hosts an opportunity to connect with local businesses they often recommend to guests and in each shop, they left a “recommended by Airbnb hosts” sticker for shop owners to proudly place in their shop windows. Here are six small businesses you can’t miss if you are visiting Florence, all are recommended by hosts.

Todo modo

Todo Modo is an independent bookstore, with different purposes: the focus of this project by Maddalena, Pietro, Marco, Paolo and Tommaso is a shared passion of literature, but Todo Modo is also a meeting point for many due to its bistro.

You’ll find 15,000 titles between these walls, some second-hand.

The bookstore was named after a quote by Íñigo López de Loyola, “Todo modo para buscar la voluntad divina” (“Anything to discover God’s will”), then resumed by Italian writer Leonardo Sciascia in 1974 who used it to title an amazing novel that revolved around crime’s ruthlessness. Follow them on Instagram to discover the book of the day and figure out when to stop by.

Gorilla Danza

This is a legendary clothes store linked to the LGBT community in Florence. Founded in 1980, it has become a well-loved place for dance lovers and professionals.

Many items are designed and produced in the shop’s workshop, where Teresa, the owner and Airbnb host, started designing clothes and accessories 30 years ago. It’s a unique space here in Florence, packed with stories, culture and art.

Osteria dell’Ortolano

At the Osteria dell’Ortolano – which means ‘The market gardener’s tavern’ – you’ll meet Marta and Massimo, who will take you on an authentic gastronomic journey, not skimping on anecdotes and information about the products you’ll find on the menu of the Osteria in Via Degli Alfani.

Recipes draw from traditional cuisine, mostly from Tuscany. If you stop by make sure to order the historic panino fiorentino!

Babele

The high-quality craftsmanship of designer Angela Baldi officially ranks among fashion’s elite in Florence.

Angela designs made-to-measure clothes in her studio named Babele, founded in 1995 in the city’s historical center.

She tailors clothes just as a sculptor would work marble, using a French refined tailoring technique called Draping, that produces dresses with fewer seams.

Pescepane

The Pescepane formula is a mix of Italy’s seafood tradition and street food innovation and also features international “Fish and Chips”. Pescepane in Italian is a pun – pesce cane, literally “fish dog” in Italian means “shark”, while Pesce Pane means fish and breadthe name says all you need to know about the core ingredients on the menu.

This restaurant celebrates Italian street food as part of the gastronomic history of Italy, something that defines Italian daily life.

Before opening Pescepane, Gianni and Tommaso, the owners, created a mobile kitchen, which they called eat-inerant. After a few years on the streets of Florence, they decided to settle down with Pescepane.

Vivoli

The last stop is at the ice cream shop Vivoli, a piece of history in Florence, often recommended by hosts during the Summer.

The ice cream shop was founded as Latteria Vivoli in 1929, in Pelago, and it was brothers Serafino and Raffaello who tried their luck moving to Florence. Refrigerators didn’t exist in 1929, and the brothers had to use the ice from the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

Technology may have evolved, but the passion of Silvana and Patrizia – who are in charge of their family business – is as alive as it was in 1929.

Do you have any favorite small shops in Florence? Which one would you recommend to guests visiting the city? Share your thoughts on Facebook.

Want to organize walks in your neighborhood? Contact other hosts from Florence.