Eyewear in Italy

May 21st, 2004, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,131
Go for it, Mark Y. When I was in Paris a few months ago, I saw some frames I loved & now regret not buying. They have styles we can't find in the states.

Anyway, my 2 cents is that I'd have the prescription put in here. If there's a problem, you won't want to deal with it on vacation. You might wan to show them your prescription just so they can be sure it will work with the particular frames you choose, i.e. Varilux might require a little larger frame.
Leona is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,054
Designer frames are one of the few (like only?) remaining bargains we've found in Europe. My wife bought some dandy ones a couple of weeks ago in Italy (hint: shop in smaller towns rather than the big cities - lower overhead but no big reduction in variety). Even with VAT they came to around 60% of what she'd pay for similar frames in the US, and of course the styles were very cool and don't appear to be widely available if at all in the US.

We comparison shopped in Italy, France and Spain - best prices in Spain, best selection in Italy.

Just buy the frames and have your own Rx lenses installed back home. Much cheaper than having lenses made in Europe.
Gardyloo is online now  
May 21st, 2004, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Some women have a purse thing while others have a shoe thing. I have an eyeglass thing and here's my take on this:

I've been buying eyeglass frames in chic foreign cities for over 20 years. I used to bring them home to have the lenses made here. Most times, even in NYC, that didn't pan out well and I can't offer a solitary reason why. I remember getting to the point where I felt stores resented the fact that I didn't purchase the frames from them and, therefore, my limited patronage wasn't appreciated as much. And, God forbid if a problem arose. It was always the foreign frame's fault.

When I started staying in my favorite foreign cities for two weeks or more, I changed gears and started to have the lenses made in Europe and experienced less problems. Now, when you have a problem with glasses made in a foreign country, one has to consider lack of convenience. Since I return to my favorite cities fairly often, correcting a problem is not so far away.

When you consider the Venetians were the first people to invent prescription lenses, it makes perfect sense that one can easily find high quality optical products in Italy. My prescription glasses made and purchased in Venice are among my favorites.

When you also consider that most high-end camera lenses are made outside of the United States, one really has to inquire about the origins of quality prescription glass.

My eyeglass lenses are Carl Zeiss brand, which is currently a Japanese/German product. They happen to cost slightly less in Europe, but the cost is insane no matter what. So it doesn't much matter where I have mine made.

I have contact lenses, too, but I can't work with contact lenses in, which means I wear prescription glasses when I'm not being social.

Regarding "nobody making passes at those who wear glasses," my experience suggests this is a misogynistic myth. When a woman wears a great pair of glasses, when the color and design of the frame truly compliments her eyes, the shape of her face, and her personality, when just enough artful mystery is created to make a man work slightly harder at the conquer and ultimate reveal, pure unadulterated magic can happen. Good taste and knowledge of design can go a long way to bring good things to life.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 87
NYCFoodSnob: what an elegant response you wrote. I can see your point about getting the prescription glasses done in Europe if you can. In that regard, you kind of build a relationship with the optometrist and the service is always top notch. Your post was very enjoyable to read, and I agree with you about Zeiss: they manufacture very good lenses.
EyeSpyEurope is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Thank you, EyeSpyEurope, for your very kind remarks.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 46
I had a bicycle accident while living in Italy and had to buy new glasses. The optician gladly accepted the prescription from my doctor in Boston and had them made within about a week. I have a very strong presciption and an astigmatism, and the new lenses were MUCH thinner than any I've ever gotton made in the States. I'm still using them!
gelato_lover is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 269
On my last trip to Rome, I purchase a couple pair of eyeglasses- that were all very new styles and unique. They were "Made in Italy" so the frames were definitely a little cheaper then buying them here in NYC(of course the $$$ was a little stronger then as well.) I did have my perscriptions filled at home, just incase I had problems. I took the perscription to my local eyeglass store(not a chain) and had my perscriptions filled, without any problem at all. I had perscription sunglasses made, as well as regular eyeglasses made.
Once thing to note that was a great experience when I was in the eyeglass stores in Rome: The salespeople were absolutely wonderful! The service was amazing and the attention I received from the sales clerks(at 2 different stores) was really special. The Italians really take pride in their merchandise and giving the customer SERVICE. I do think it may be a little less expensive to get the actual perscription filled in the states.
Italy is a little "faster" with the latest fashions in eyewear, and if you want to be "cutting edge" you will find the very latest fashions in Eyewear in Italy.
TrendGirl is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 754
Yes, they do have great frames in Italy for glasses. I did buy Ferregamo frames here in the US, that are made in Italy. I also bought Crizol lenses. Lighter in weight than Transition, though it doesn't get as dark. I knew this when I bought it. I really like the European frames.
aeiger is offline  

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