First off – let me state a fact: If you can’t find something from Conti Tuscany Flavours (here’s their Facebook Page) to pack in your suitcase by which to remember Florence, Italy…well my dears, there is no shopping hope for you! I’m just saying…bring on the bubble wrap and let’s go browsing!
Located close to Mercato Centrale (home of the Conti market location – which is an entirely different blog post), their latest addition brings yet another way to taste, experience, and purchase delightful souvenirs. And the history of the store location is amazing.
Located in a 16th century palazzo, the upper portion of the building is now apartments, with the lower containing businesses. Underneath the building, it opens into an old cantina with an underground area that was part of the catacombs. This part is used for wine storage, since it remains cool in the summer.
There is actually an underground passageway that leads all the way from the store to Fortezza da Basso…imagine that little trek in the dark!
Work took over 9 months to remodel into this lovely store, as the location had been vacant for over 2 years. Imagine what the “before” must have looked like! I know the “after” is drop dead gorgeous!
Yvonne and Stefano can offer personalized tastings of typical Tuscan products for you and your friends enjoyment right there in the tasting room (or “cantina”) of the store. Wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegars….all available for purchase. How’s that for easy?
Or if just a glass of wine is up your alley, well they’ve got your covered! Take a sip, and then buy a bottle (or case) to savor at home.
If you are like us, it’s hard to resist the ceramics of Italy. Great news here is that Yvonne personally knows each of the artists of these hand crafted lovelies. So, she is able to source some really unique pieces. Just bring a big suitcase for the journey home! Or can you say “ship that, please!” and they are happy to do just that, since they ship worldwide.
From olive wood products, to perfect foodie finds, to hand thrown and painted pieces, there is not an item in here that is not useable – you can eat them, drink them, and enjoy them for years to come.
For more information, visit their Facebook page here – at Conti Tuscany Flavours. You’ll be glad you did! And say hello to Marta, if you are in the area…she rules the roost!