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Most satisfying Purchase and Miscellaneous ?s

Most satisfying Purchase and Miscellaneous ?s

Old Aug 11th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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Most satisfying Purchase and Miscellaneous ?s

Hello,

I was chatting w/ a girlfriend who warned me not to go crazy in Florence and buy 8 leather handbags. I'm heading to Florence, Rome, and Paris and I wonder what was the most satisfying purchase fodorites made from these places. My budget is btw 50-100 USD each place. I was thinking a pair of gloves in Florence but could I get a nice pair of gold earrings?

I have no clue what's a good souvenir in Rome. I was thinking perfume in Paris but would like suggestions on where to go for this.

I have an off-topic question. Since much of Rome is on holiday in August, I've found some of the restaurants say on their websites that they're on vacation for the whole month. For those who don't supply that information on the web is it worth it to call to see before I get there for plannings sake and to avoid disappointment or just get there and see what's open.


Thank in advance!
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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I think this would be what you most want, not what other people want. I doubt if you can get gold earrings in Florence for that price, but I could be wrong, as I haven't been there.

I don't spend that kind of money on souvenirs, so I will admit my most satisfying souvenir from Paris is probably a beret as I wear them a lot in winter and I've bought several in Paris. They are a lot cheaper there than at home (for same quality, 100 pct wool).

I have bought some perfume there once, but mainly just because I was there a while and was browsing in Bon Marche and found some scent the salesgirl had me try that I especially liked (It was Annick Goutal), but I didn't consider that a souvenir. I don't see any real advantage to buying perfume there, actually, I could have gotten it just as cheaply at home, if not cheaper. Perfume is expensive and liquid and breakable, also, so I wouldn't want to load up on that in my luggage, just in case. It is also a little heavy so if it were your first stop, ou wouldn't want to be lugging perfume bottles around your entire trip. If you bought a very small flacon or something, maybe that would work.

Just go to a dept store, that's what I'd say, if you want perfume.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 09:55 AM
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Personally, in Paris, I buy practical things to take back to friends...if I take back anything. I go to the huge department stores and go down to the paper department and buy those great colorful, plastic folders with the elastic piece that closes them. I also buy other paper/plastic stationery items since there's such a great selection in Europe.
I also go over to the Bon Marche gourmet grocery store, next to the Bon Marche Department store (7th district, right as you come out of Metroevres Babylone) and buy their shopping bags. They come in 2 colors...light with dark writing and black with light writing. I use them for my groceries here at home and friends love them, too. They also have the little, fold-up ones with the wheels on them, for about $39. It's the style that you see all over Europe.
I tend to think out of the box for stuff to bring back as I've been going to Paris almost annually since the 70s. And friends always request the French gummi bear candy that I also get at the Bon Marche gourmet grocery store. I think the brand is Lutti...or something that starts with a "L". There are tons of varieties of them at that grocery store. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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nysmom,
here's what I bought for myself and others:

In Rome, I bought a beautiful small ceramic clock in a little shops down a narrow street from the Pantheon. If you were facing the Pantheon, the street would be on your right. You can't really miss it. The clocks and other goods are all handmade and quite beautiful. I know if I say 'ceramic clock', you're not visualizing what they sell, so you should go take a look. They pack them up beautifully and it was easy as pie to carry home.

For gifts for my sisters I brought home gloves. My Italian friend referred me to Sermonetta at the foot of the Spanish Steps. There are beautiful styles and colours and a very wide price range. The nice thing about bringing gloves home is that they're flat and easy to pack. They barely took up any room in my suitcase.

In Florence, my SO bought me a Venetian glass necklace and for gifts, we went to the great indoor food market in the San Lorenzo market and brought home bags of dried mushrooms.

In Paris, I just bought some black and white photographs for my office wall and some children's clothing in one of the department stores. No brilliant ideas there.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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I am going back to Florence in October and I am buying several pair of black leather gloves. They are the best gloves I have ever owned.

The other thing I like was a shawl at the market in Florence for about 5 Euro. A beautiful blue color but you can find any color you want.

On one of the postings they discussed a place in Florence for soaps and lotions that everyone loved.
http://www.smnovella.com
Address: Via Delle Scala 16 Florence

We did purchase some small leather coin purses of different styles at the leather shop close to Santa Croce church
Will copy something about it.

The Scuola di Cuoio is located in the historic church of Santa Croce, where Michelangelo and many other famous Florentines are buried. It really is a school: they teach the fine craft of making leather garments, purses, & various accessories, which are sold on the premises. Apparently because of the educational nature of the business, you will save significantly on leather goods of the very highest quality. They also offer tours of the workshop.

This is the place if you are bent on getting a top-quality Italian leather coat. It won't be dirt cheap, but it will be very, very much less than a comparable garment stateside or even in the designer shops in Italy. Furthermore, if you're staying in Florence and have the cash, you can have one custom-tailored. More economical purchases include purses of various sizes, accessories like wallets, etc., but perhaps the most unique items are the old-fashioned leather boxes, ideal for jewelry boxes (tuck in something gold from the Ponte Vecchio & she'll love you forever). The small accessories like eyeglass cases, change purses, etc. are downright cheap so you can stock up on authentic & truly useful souvenirs.

Ready-made coats: about 400 euro + up depending on design
Small leather accessories: about 10-15 euro
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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These are really some great suggestions. I think I saw that soap/lotion store in one of the Florence tour videos. I'll make sure to put it on the itinerary along w/ touring the Scuola di Cuoio. That sounds like real fun. I love leather and it'll be nice to see how the Italians do it best...

I'm excited! Bon Marche has been mentioned twice so it definitely makes the list. and beautifully packaged ceramic clocks near the Pantheon...


10 more days till we take off!

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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Book marking
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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In Paris try Fragonard for either cologne or their wonderful olive oil soap with a hint of lavender. I bring home lots of bars every time. They pack well. Fragonard shops are near the Opera and in St-Germain-des-Pres.

http://www.fragonard.com/parfums_gra...oils-c-145.htm

I don't think you could get gold earings for $100 in Florence. I've bought pillow covers and lovely note books with end paper covers.

One thing I always buy in Rome are bookmarks, laminated on one side and felt on the other so they don't slip out of the book. Each one has a famous painting detail or sculpture and a matching tassle on the top. They're only a few dollars but every time I open whatever book I'm reading I see the book mark and remember Rome. You can buy these in church gift shops. I know Santa Maria Maggiore has them.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Thanks adrienne,

I sort of figured about the earrings. It's good to have a realistic expectations so I won't wander into a shop with high hopes of Florentine jewelry.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Oh, Fragonard soaps! That's what I forgot -- yes, we bought lots of those to bring home as gifts.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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nysmom...

I will also put in my recommendation for Santa Maria Novella. I was in Rome last year at Christmas and stumbled upon the shop there, but I believe they originated in Florence.

I got a really lovely foot cream and a cuticle cream. My mom purchased serveral of their soaps. In the Rome shop they had all kinds of soaps, creams, lotions, and shampoos.

Some items are pricey. The foot cream I purchased was about 46Euro, but for me worth it! I'll be back this year and getting more!

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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Both purchases across the way from the Pitti Palace (so perhaps could have been had more economically)

Leather Giotto

A very nice soft leather laptop bag. Has a well-worn look already with lots of character: 340 Euros

For Mrs. K.

From Pitti Ceramiche:

A large platter and two matching cup and saucers: 190 Euros

Satisfaction? Priceless
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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I don't know why that smiley-faced thing popped into my post, but the word hidden under it is "Sevres Babylone". Hopefully it won't pop up again. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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nysmom...Speaking of handbags...you'll have to drop by Karine Dupont at 16, rue du Cherche Midi in the 6th. It's a 5-minute walk down the street from Bon Marche department store. When you enter Cherche Midi, you'll walk past Poilane bakery...a must...get one of those beyond marvelous apple pastries. I've been munching on them since the 70s. Then you'll walk a few steps past Poilane and on the same side of the street you'll see Karine Dupont. I've been buying her handbags ever since she introduced the line. They're the best. I have several. You can google or Yahoo to see the styles. I just tried her website, but it was down right now. Another great handbag designer is Un Apres Midi De Chien and it's right down the street from the Etienne Marcel metro stop on Line 4. I don't remember the name of the street, but it's the big boulevard where the metro station is. You can google that one,too. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Guenmai - it looks like you accidently hit the : key before the S in Sevres and that produced the smiley face.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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I like ceramics, drawings, paintings, jewelry and nick-nacks from any antiques market. Paris has some of the best in the world. There's nothing like finding something old and beautiful and one of a kind in a totally serendipitous manner.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Leather coat/jacket in Florence or anything paper...great for gifts. In Paris I found fabulous perfume from Fleurs de Bach . It's called Presence. (I don't have it with me so I can't tell you exactly how it's spelled). I got a small sample when I was with my husband one October, but didn't try it until I got home. Then, when I went back to Paris a few months later, I was on the hunt, because I couldn't find it in NY ANYWHERE!!! I did, after many hours, track it down at Galleries Lafayette and bought 2 bottles back with me. Thoughts...if you find something you love buy it and don't look back. I also ALWAYS buy the reuseable bags from Momoprix for less than a Euro. They come in lots of colors and I give them to all my friends. I always carry 2/3 in my pocektbook. Everytime I go shopping a little bit of Paris comes with me.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Keep it coming, this is great

Guenmai-a couple of my friends are big handbag fans so they'll especially love your suggestions.

If we don't buy any handbags at least we'll get to munch on some great pastries! I'd like to make my own discoveries but with such limited time in each place, it's nice to get a sense of direction from fodorites!
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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In Paris: I buy really inexpensive items, but cherish them all.

The reusable shopping bags are wonderful from the monoprix, I bought 8 or 10 last time, my kids use them as swim/overnight bags.

I always buy fleur de sel from different regions, and mustard. I also really love silverware, and I am crazy for cuilleres a cafe (dessert or coffee spoon)-it is just so elegant to have the small size.

On my first trip I bought several of the post card sketches of Paris that are in most shops and I framed them. They are still hanging in my house.

For others I buy several of the inexpensive pashminas in different colors.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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mustard - any particular brand that reminds you for Paris?
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