Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Best places to shop for leather handbags in Florence

Best places to shop for leather handbags in Florence

Apr 21st, 2014, 02:33 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Best places to shop for leather handbags in Florence

Hi,
I am going to be in Florence in June and I would really love to buy an Italian made leather handbag. I know that there would be a lot of' not so authentic' places aimed at tourists there, but does anyone have any recommendations on shops they would recommend? I am very interested in visiting the leather school in Florence, more for the experience than to actually buy a bag there, as I am not aware of the price range there...but still definitely worth a visit I think.
Thanks for your help
ReneeLJ is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:00 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
I suggest Fontanelli (Borgo Ognissanti 80r) and LAPA (via Porta Rossa 72r). You cannot visit their workshops - that are respectively in S. Casciano and Fiesole - but at least you can be sure they are selling genuine Italian items. - Most of the leather objects you see in markets are made in Italy, but by Chinese people working under Chinese supervision in the district around Prato.
asps is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:21 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 27
I'm not going until the fall, but this place is on my list of places to visit.

http://www.scuoladelcuoio.com/home.php
Kathie21 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:24 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
Renee - I remembered that on my last visit to Florence about 3 years ago, i found some nice leather shops at least a little way away from the madding crown. when i looked up my trip report to see if i had recorded where they were, success:

Via dell'Oriuolo, Florence, Italy

it's just to the east of the Duomo, along a little arcade.

some lovely and to my eye, authentic looking leather goods are on sale along here.
annhig is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:43 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,505
http://santacroceinflorence.wordpres...ol-of-leather/

Whether they have what you want or not the world-famous leather works in San Croce Church are worth a look and highly renown.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 05:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
agreed, PalenQ, but the prices are ++ high. i managed to have an interesting conversation with one of the students who was serving in one of the "shops" - the goods were superb. He talked about a very long training, so it's no wonder that the goods cost so much.
annhig is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 05:10 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,262
ReneeLJ, I know you didn't ask about them but I've bought lovely leather gloves in Florence. Just something for you to think about.
cathies is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:30 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,511
I've found good leather at 43.76735,11.25254 two shops side by side and one to the left towards the Ponto Vecchio. As well as the Chinese sweat shops you will also find a fair bit of the better leather goods are made in Spain often of very high quality and of course Romania remains on of Italy's main trading partners. Do try to avoid buying fake brands, within Italy and France fake brands are seen as stealing and your goods may be confiscated and destroyed without recourse to the courts.

While we are on the subject more Italian olive oil is exported than is made in the whole country and even good brands are often added to with Spainish olive oil (again often of good provenance) while a lot of Italian and French table wine (the stuff you get free with meals) is Spanish.

Welcome to the EU
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 08:02 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 268
Agree with PalenQ but learn how to barter too. It is expected at the outdoor market. And after you shop, pop into the Fresh Food market there for lunch.
snowgirls is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:45 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
You will find some wonderful handbags - but the prices will not be low. The same bag will cost significantly more than in the the US - but you will often not find the same bag in the US. Do not expect bargains.

I used to shop much more in Italy (leather goods and jewelry)but now do so rarely - only if I really love something and think I can;t find something similar at home (which I know will be - with the discounts - probably half the price).
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:52 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,826
You didn't mention your price point Renee, but I will recommend my favourite, Furla. I have a couple of their bags, they are gorgeous, well made and not in the Gucci/Prada stratosphere price wise. They tend to be between $300.00 to $600.00.

There is a Furla store on Via Calzaiuoli, 47/r, they are also sold in La Rinascente the department store. Last time I was in Florence you could get a visitor's discount at La Rinascente of 10 or 15 percent. (can't remember exactly, but every little bit helps, and they have some nice things there)

If you do look at bags in the market, check them over carefully, many of them are not very well made and many of them are made from thin bits of leather glued to cardboard/heavy paper.
Also lots made in China.
raincitygirl is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:57 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,826
I live in Canada so probably don't get as great bargains as in the U.S. but I can tell you that the Furla bags I have purchased in Italy were cheaper than here in Vancouver. I always claim the tax back as well and have never had a problem getting the refund.

Anyway for me (and I know I am possibly alone in this) shopping is part of the fun of my trips and I look for things I don't see at home and if the price is something I feel is ok, it's mine!
raincitygirl is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:01 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Thank you for everyone's great suggestions, it sounds like there will be a lot of places for me to explore
ReneeLJ is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:43 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
BTW, I traipsed all over Florence looking for purses for myself and DD, but they were either horrible or too expensive. Eventually i found just what I was looking for in the airport at Pisa [airside]. just the right size in lovely coloured leather [ostrich I think].

I've not been for 3 years so can't say if the same leather shop is still there, but this may be useful for others passing through Pisa Airport.

PS - by purse i mean what i think in the US is called a wallet ie something that you put in a handbag [or purse in US english] to hold change, notes, credit cards etc.
annhig is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 12:44 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
When I was in Florence a few years ago I came across some wonderful italian made bags, called "GABS" [get it? - I didn't!] which can be changed into several different shapes. Stupidly I decided not to buy one there, but when i came home I discovered that you can get them on line.

http://www.lollishop.it/GB/shop/gabs-bags/

i don't really think that the website does them justice, but you could probably find the stockists in Florence and go and have a look.
annhig is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:45 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 78
bookmarking
mogsanova is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:19 PM.