Eyewear in Italy

Feb 21st, 2003, 06:17 PM
  #1  
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Eyewear in Italy

Goofy question, but what the heck. I love the eyewear in Italy and would like to purchase some frames when I'm there. Does anyone have any experience with bringing an eyeglass perscription to Italy and getting some perscription glasses? Or would it be better to just purchase frames and get them made when I'm back in the states?

Thanks
MarkY is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 06:24 PM
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If you want glasses made, and the prescription hasn't changed then you can just bring the glasses that you are currently wearing, as the prescription can be read just by looking at the lenses. But, you're probably better off just buying the frames and having the lenses put into the frames at home, at your leisure.
sojourn is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 06:35 PM
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It'll probably be a bit more expensive than in the USA, but yes, you can do it, and all you need is your eyeglasses. It may take a few days, though. But go for it! The Italians have some fabulous eyewear.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 06:47 PM
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I believe the American glasses store, Lens Crafters, is actually owned by the Italians (not Americans of Italian ancestry, but real Italians). Some of their glasses may be Italian but you have to check for yourself
Hiroshi is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the info. I should have mentioned that I have my perscription, I just had an eye exam and I have a new perscription.

Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks
MarkY is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 08:11 PM
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Buy the frames in Italy. A lot of styles never come to the States but get the prescription filled in the USA. It is unbelievably expensive in Europe. Get yourself a really nice Italian pair you won't find in the USA, get the VAT refund and have the lenses made here. You'll be fine.
EyeSpyEurope is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the info, but what is the "VAT" refund?
MarkY is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 08:44 PM
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VAT is the abbreviation for value added tax. Since it increases the price, it decreases the value so it should be called VLT (value losing tax). In the UK, I think it is 17.5% for many things.

If you take the item out of the country (export), many stores will refund the tax to you. They will give you a form which you must have stamped by the customs officer at the airport. For example, at Gatwick South Terminal, the customs officer is to the left immediately after security. If you walk 2 or 3 steps, you have passed it (look back).

Stores are not required to refund VAT but many do. Often they require a minimum purchase (200 euros? 100 euros?)
Hiroshi is offline  
Feb 21st, 2003, 09:37 PM
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If you buy the frames in ITALY and want to bring them back to the states for lenses, ask them if you can have a PATTERN-- it is the insert that is the SHAPE of the lens that needs to go into the frame.

Some of these frames are so wild , that the pattern may be patented by the manufacturer....and you could get all the way back to the US and have a great pair of frames and no one to do the lenses.....esp.if you live in some small town that has limited access....

So be careful................
andy is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2003, 08:39 PM
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My husband and I always buy our prescription eyewear in Italy. The quality is excellent and they can make most rx's within an hour or at the most a day. The cost is comparable to the US but the style and quality of the frames are superior.
clarissa is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2003, 08:43 PM
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Got some fantastic frames for shades in Paris during their killer sales the beginning of July and took them home to get my awful perscription and with the polarized lenses. Lenscrafters did a great job, with my AAA discount and I constantly get compliments. The designer sun glasses before RX were $30 on sale and valued over $200 in the US. Off to Italy this summer and looking for more glasses and sun glasses. I will bring them home for the RX as Lenscrafters gives a 1 year warranty and free adjustments forever if they do the work. Plus in the USA you GET A TAX DEDUCTION FOR YOUR GLASSES' RX, WITH RECEIPT!!!!!
Deloris is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2003, 10:31 PM
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OK, you have sold me on Italian eyeglasses, but which styles are really Italian? Which brands? I want to look exotic like the rest of you.
Natalia is offline  
Feb 24th, 2003, 05:34 PM
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A-Z
Armani, Bottega Veneta,Fendi,Ferragamo,Genny,Gucci, Krizia, Missoni,Prada,Versace,Zegna
And maybe some I forgot!
And many are at Lenscrafters here in the
USA on sale. KNow before you go!
Deloris is offline  
Feb 27th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Hi Mark,

My understanding is that most of Italian eyewear factories are in the Northern region - Milan, Venice, etc.

So depending upon where you will be, the selection will be better.

Believe it or not, the airport shops in Milan have an amazing selection of eyewear. It usually takes me days to find and select eyewear in the States, but I bought a pair of navy blue Alain Mikli's (actually French) in 10 minutes for under $100, and I get a ton of compliments on them back here in the States.

I thought that I would have found a great selection in Florence, but the selection in Milan and Venice was better.

Hopet his helps.
kiki is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 05:08 AM
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ttt

I'll be in Venice and would like new frames. Can anyone provide the name(s) and location(s) of some great eyewear stores in Venice?

I appreciate all the info in this thread.
Dog_Mother is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 05:17 AM
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Kiki, I bought a pair of Alain Mikli's in Italy too! They are definitely something I wouldn't have selected at home, but I love them. There's something about an Italian saleswoman urging you on to be daring and buy them, telling you "it's MODA!" : )
Nutella is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 05:30 AM
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Definitely purchase eyeglasses there and get the prescription filled back in the USA where it's much much cheaper. If you're in Rome, I recommend heartily Ottica Efrati at the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna, 91. Telephone: 06 67.95.361). The staff are younger, very enthusiastic and will tell you you look wonderful in everything, but you'll be able to figure out how great you do look in their eyewear from all the major Italian designers. Prices are reasonable -- I even got the IVA (value added tax) back at the airport. I purchase frames there each year; there are styles in Italy that never get to the USA. Further on down from Ottica Efrati are other eyeglass stores and then onto via del Babuino going to Piazza del Popolo. Don't hesitate in just looking. Just say "Voglio dare un'occhiata" ("I'm taking a look") and the salestaff will leave you alone. It's perfectly acceptable. When you leave the stop, just say "Grazie. Arrivederci" and you're off to your next store.
EyeSpyEurope is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 05:34 AM
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Here in London, one is able to purchase all the Italian frames that are worth wearing, is America not the same?
m_kingdom2 is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 05:49 AM
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In the USA there are great Italian frames, but there still are styles in Italy that don't get out of Italy, and I'd venture to say, couldn't be found even in London. My ETRO frames weren't even for sale in the ETRO store on via del Babuino in Rome let alone on Madison Avenue. But they were in the Milan store. It's probably a cultural thing. Different countries like different styles and the manufacturers adjust the supply accordingly, don't you think?
EyeSpyEurope is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 05:59 AM
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The main reason some of those "styles don't get out of Italy" is because the buyers don't think they'll sell well in a particular market.

I occasionally wear glasses myself but am continually reminded of the old adage about nobody making passes at those who wear glasses which is one reason why I'm glad I can wear contacts!
 

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