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Buying handbags and shoes in Italy, how much should I budget?

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Sep 19th, 2013, 10:29 AM
  #1
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Buying handbags and shoes in Italy, how much should I budget?

I am traveling to Italy in November. Venice, Florence and Rome. Looking forward to the great selection of handbags and shoes. Can anyone give me an idea of what I can expect to pay for nice italian goods? Not designer, just good leather. Is one place better than the other? Any information would be appreciated.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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And you are planning to declare just how much at Customs?
Dukey1 is offline  
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Sep 19th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Florence is known for its leather goods, but I'm not sure you'll find prices much cheaper than what you see in the States (if that's where you are). Currency rates are not in your favor right now, and I wouldn't expect great improvement between now and November.

$1.00 = 0,74 euros
1 euro = $1.35.

Of course, a lot depends on what you consider to be "good leather."
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Sep 19th, 2013, 01:14 PM
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florence has many little stalls selling leather bags. they are mot top quality, but are ok. the high end shops sell wonderful shoes and bags but they are expensive.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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When I travel with my wife, the handbags seem to run around 300 to 400 euros. Yes, she has expensive tastes.

Make sure it's Italian leather and made in Italy. That gives you a better chance of getting a decent bag.

For shoes, they absolutely have to be Italian leather and made in Italy. The most we've paid for a pair of shoes was about 300 euros.
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Sep 19th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Figure about 1/3 more than you would pay in the US. Yes, the quality can be excellent and you will find unique styles - but do not expect any bargains. (Twenty years ago yes - but not now.)
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Sep 19th, 2013, 02:23 PM
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Yes, don't expect bargains, but expect variety and lots of cool styles. I'm a big handbag person and buy them when both in Paris and Italy. I take advantage of the detaxe though.

Happy Travels!
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Sep 19th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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For handbags I like Furla, the quality is very good, the colours and styles are up to the minute but you are not paying Gucci prices.
Last fall I bought a gorgeous handbag there for 285.00 euro which came to $372.00 Canadian dollars. ( roughly 360.00 American) I used the bag every day until summer when I switched, am using it again now, it looks like new still.

FURLA is at via Calzaiuoli 47 in Florence. Furla has stores in Rome also, not sure about Venice.

In Venice in 2008 I purchased a beautiful black patent handbag in the Marina Rinaldi store for about the equivalent at the time of $250.00, am still using it and it looks great still although the lining has ripped a little inside, but still good for a five year old bag.

There is leather sold in the markets in Florence but I would be very cautious there as much of it is not made in Italy, made in China and a lot of it is sub-standard quality.

Last fall I bought two pairs of very nice ballerina flats at Cassini in Florence ( right across from the Pitti Palace). They run about 200 euro a pair, although mine were on sale. They are the best ballet flats, all leather, made in Arezzo, very comfortable and very substantial, not flimsy little flats that you feel every stone in the road through. Have worn these a lot too and they look great. Cassini also has very nice leather jackets but at the VERY expensive end of things, my friend bought one and she loves it and has received compliment after compliment.
They are very nice in this shop and it was a pleasure to shop there.

Rastaguytoday, sounds like your wife and I could be kindred spirits.

tfrank, enjoy your trip and remember you get what you pay for.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 04:47 PM
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Thank you for all of the great information! My parents traveled to Italy many years ago and filled an extra suitcase with handbags and shoes that they purchased. Nytraveler, it WAS more than 20 years ago. I guess times were different then.

It seems like I won't get any bargains, just unique styles for the same prices I pay for handbags and shoes here. That's fine.

Not sure how much I'll declare at customs. Jean, your right about the currency rates. Raincity girl, thanks for all of the great suggestion. I'll definitely check them out. I am familiar with Marina Rinaldi.

You ALL have been so helpful! I'll let you know how it goes!

I'll check for more responses, please post if you have anything else.

Ciao!
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Mar 12th, 2014, 01:53 AM
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You may want to do an internet search on the large (Chinese owned) industry in Italy which imports cheap items from China and relabels them as being authentically Italian made. Some interesting stuff is revealed. Just because there is a tag which says "Made In Italy" doesn't mean that it's genuine. (Speaking from unfortunate experience).
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Mar 26th, 2015, 04:05 PM
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I wanted to post feedback since my trip to Italy. I don't think there are any real deals to be had from what I saw, if you are an experienced shopper. Some of what I saw you could buy on the internet. I had the most fun at the outdoor market in Florence. I got cute cute shopper totes and mess anger bags as gifts. Very reasonable prices. I did buy a leather jacket and my husband bought a suede coat. Just fun stuff. But if you are looking for a handbag for good deal, you will do better at someplace like Yoox.com.
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Mar 26th, 2015, 04:56 PM
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The Leather School in Florence at the back of Santa Croce are run by the church, beautiful workmanship and fair moderate prices. We love it.
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