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Fashionable Holidays in Tuscany - Ferragamo, Gucci, Pucci and More

If fashion is your passion, there's no better place to visit on holidays in Tuscany than Florence. Offering myriad attractions and shopping opportunities for the dedicated follower of fashion, the Renaissance city is home to cutting edge trends as well as renowned classic design houses. The city has been a fitting rival to Europe's fashion capital of Paris since the 14th century.

Designer Tours - Just Looking, Thanks!

With big-hitting names in fashion like Gucci, Ferragamo, Pucci and Cavalli, Florence is definitely a major draw for devoted fashionistas on holidays in Tuscany. Of particular interest is the Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Museum, housed in Palazzo Spini Ferroni along Via Tornabuoni. It serves as the repository of the works of the design house founded by the world's celebrity shoemaker, Salvatore Ferragamo.

A visit to the House of Gucci Museum, in the beautiful 14th century building Palazzo del Merchandise in Piazza Signoria, is another pilgrimage trendsetters are often keen to make. It's relatively small as museums go, but for the student of fashion, the array of red-carpet Gucci gowns, shoes and bags are well worth the entrance fee. The Gucci Café on the premises is a great place to end a tour and spend some time people watching.

For a more comprehensive view history of art and fashion in Florence, the Galleria Del Costume at Palazzo Pitti has a collection of over 6,000 artefacts representing examples from famous Italian and foreign designers, such as Armani, Valentino, Versace, Missoni, Pucci, Margiela and more. A visit here is like a crash course on the history of Italian fashion.

High-End Shopping

Serious fashionistas may forgo the usual souvenirs and head straight to the good stuff on their holidays in Tuscany, as the centre of medieval Florence is true "Fashion Heaven". The most famous streets are Via Tornabuoni, where visitors will find the Ferragamo Shoe Museum, and Via della Vigna Nuova, which is lined with designer boutiques and high-end ateliers.

For jewellery, Ponte Vecchio is the place to go. Long the centre of the city's ancient jewellery trade, the bridge is lined with shops displaying their glittering wares - be prepared to pay a pretty penny, however. Reasonably priced leather goods, on the other hand, are to be found around the Santa Croce square or the market of San Lorenzo, where you'll also find a host of other interesting fashion accessories.

Designer Goods For Less

For outlet store aficionados, Florence can yield plenty of wonderful designer clothes, bags and shoes for far less than in the mainstream shops. While these famous outlets are all a little out of central Florence, they are well worth the trip.

One of the most popular shop-till-you-drop stops is Prada Outlet Space, where one can find designer clothing and accessories at huge discounts. Prada, of course, can be had here for up to 30-50% off, but other big name designers are represented as well.

The largest of the outlet malls is simply called The Mall, and is home to such brands as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Stella McCartney. The third outlet of mention is Regello Fashion Valley, an outdoor shopping centre where one can find excellent bargains on original Versaces and Scervinos.

For those into fashion, Florence is an excellent place to spend some time on holidays in Tuscany. With so much on offer, it's no wonder it's becoming every fashion lover's dream destination.

Carolyn Spinks is from ABTOI - The Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy. If you're looking for the perfect holidays in Tuscany their LoveItaly website provides destination information, contact details of tour operator members to help you plan the best Italian holiday, 'insider' tips, year round special offers and information on everything from beach holidays in Sardinia, cycling in Sicily, to a wedding or honeymoon in Tuscany.

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