shopping for silk scarves in italy

Mar 12th, 2001, 11:47 AM
  #1  
nancy
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shopping for silk scarves in italy

I have heard that you can buy inexpensive silk scarves in Italy. I will be visiting Rome, Florence, and Venice. Since I will need to buy approx. 10 scarves, which city exactly due I shop and what price can I expect to pay.
thanks
 
Mar 12th, 2001, 12:06 PM
  #2  
Howard
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If you're anywhere near Milan, that's the place, since the adjacent Lake Como area is the world's second largest producer of silk (next to China). If not, I would think your best bet would be in a department store in Florence or Rome. Prices in Venice tend to be higher.
 
Mar 12th, 2001, 12:21 PM
  #3  
pam
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In Florence, go to the San Lorenzo Market where you will find booths selling scarves, among other things. I paid 35,000 lire (about US$17.50) last week for a yard/meter-ish-square silk scarf. Smaller squares were about 20000 lire and oblong were about 35000. They have a wide variety of patterns, with lots of Hermes-type knockoffs. You could probably negotiate a discount for buying 10 at one stall; also we were offered a discount at 7:20pm on Saturday evening, as the vendor put it, "because I want to close." Leather gloves are also a great value, but of course if they are gifts you have to know/guess the size.
 
Mar 12th, 2001, 01:05 PM
  #4  
Joanna
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Don't forget the best scarves have hand stitched hems, one way to tell the good from the mass-produced.

For a good Armani or Versace scarf you can pay anything between L200,000 to L400,000.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 06:28 AM
  #5  
nospam
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Well, if Nancy can afford ten 200,000-to-400,000 lire (not in MY "inexpensive" category, as she mentioned) scarves, she doesn't need our help locating them. She can just walk into any store with "Hermes", "Gucci" or "Ferragamo" over the doorway. Just in case, those stores are on Via Tuornabuoni in Florence and on Via Condotti in Rome; sorry that I can't help with Venice. Don't forget that real Hermes scarves have the hem rolled toward the face of the scarf.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 07:14 AM
  #6  
carol
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Just be careful in the Florence markets if you want silk. You will find many polyester scarves with "silk" labels. However, if you just want pretty scarves with a nice "hand", you'll find many there.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 09:32 AM
  #7  
Roxie
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Personally, I found the best selection of ties and scarves in Venice last year. There were similar scarves in Florence, but shopping seemed to be more expensive in Florence. There were great scarves in Milan, but they weren't what I considered "souvenir" scarves ($15-$30). They were "real" scarves with very REAL prices ($100 and up). So, in my mind, you haven't missed much affordable shopping by skipping Milan.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 09:42 AM
  #8  
pam
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The stalls in the market in Florence usually sell both silk and polyester scarves, it seems, and the stacks are clearly labeled. The polyester is not any that could be mistaken for silk. Just be sure to touch the fabric before you pay. The polyester ones may have been 15000-20000 lire (~US$7.50-$10) but don't hold me to that.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 11:29 AM
  #9  
sandi
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I bought a beautiful silk and velvet scarf in Venice, large enough to be a shawl at night and it was about $50. It was in a little boutique off Saint Mark's square.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 01:08 PM
  #10  
Tina
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If you want attractive, yet VERY inexpensive scarves, you can buy them on the streets of Florence. Forget the stalls --- when I was there in April '99 there was myriads of 'street sellers' with whom you can bargain. NOW they 'say' the scarves are silk & the label may say "soie" (silk in Italian), BUT they're actually made of polyester. I bought a dozen at 10,000 lire each (more you buy the better price you can negotiate). When I gave these as gifts, I told folks they probably weren't 'silk' as advertised, but the colors & designs were so pretty no one complained. PLUS at 10k each (about $5), you can give more than one.
I've worn mine for several years & they've held up!

P.S. As an alternative gift item, you can buy WONDERFUL leather gloves in both Florence & Rome. Prices aren't necessarily alot cheaper than the states, but the styles, quality of fabric, workmanship, etc. is wonderful.
 
Mar 13th, 2001, 01:21 PM
  #11  
Howard
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If you're going to buy from the street sellers, you can bargain them down to well below 10,000 lire. A friend bought the ersatz silk scarves for 4,000 lire each from a street vendor in Milan.
And speaking of Milan, Roxie, you didn't go to right places in that city. You can indeed get silk scarves for less than $30 in Milan stores. I know, because we did. My wife also bought some "better" ones for around $60 that were spectacular.
 
Mar 14th, 2001, 06:22 AM
  #12  
pam
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Just fyi, soie is not silk in Italian (I think it's French). Silk in Italian is seta.

I asked some of the San Lorenzo vendors about their fake pashminas, advertised as lambswool. E vero lana? Is it truly wool? One vendor say, 'no, viscosa' (polyester); another answered me, 'lana mista' (wool blend), and proceeded to tell me in Italian to 'lavora a mano' (wash by hand) and on and on. So I think they will respond if you display doubt.

And I disagree about the characterizations of glove prices not being much less than in the States. Last trip I bought unlined 4" leather gloves for $15 (easily double that here) and unlined short gloves for $10; this trip I bought cashmere-lined 4" gloves for $29. Easily $50 here. Plus I needed them; it was cold. The truly wonderful part about buying gloves in Italy is that they have every color of the rainbow, details of various kinds (quilting, piping, buttons) and every option you could want.
 
Apr 3rd, 2001, 01:27 PM
  #13  
Gerry
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Bought "silk" scarves at the flee market near San Giovanni Metro stop in Rome for 5000 lire each($2.50). They would not bargain at that price even if you offered to buy say 10 of them. Same scarves sold in cental area stalls for 15000 lire. They are made of polyester no matter what the label says. The "puro seta" labels are peal off stick on. Can put them on anything. Same with other non sewn on labels. eg.cashmire
 
Apr 3rd, 2001, 04:52 PM
  #14  
Joanna
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Exactly my point above - Italy is all about quality. You can buy cheap polyester scarves anywhere. I would also doubt that the el cheapo stall types are even made in Italy.
 
Apr 4th, 2001, 05:34 AM
  #15  
ian
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Last year when at Fattoria Pagnana (www.fattoria-pagnana.com) they gave me directions to the factory outlets of Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. All are very close to Fattoria Pagnana which is about 10 miles S.E. of Florence. Gucci in particular has a very big selection of scarves at prices about 40/50% below main street prices.
I also gather that in a few months another outlet will open up very near to the one of Dolce & Gabbana selling Fendi and Celine. Once I hear of the opening date I shall make a posting.
 
Apr 4th, 2001, 06:26 AM
  #16  
Marsha
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I haven't seen a site that discusses SILK CLOTHING, and hope someone can point me to one, or where to get a catalog. It is light, feminine and dries quickly, but I am afraid it is beyond my internal cost limit. How does it compare to the wickweight clothes in Travelsmith?

I will be looking for silk scarves too!!
 
Apr 4th, 2001, 06:38 AM
  #17  
pam
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Well, I guess you all can come over to my house and examine the scarves I bought. They are silk. They were 35000 lire apiece (US$17.50). I don't care where they were made. They are pretty. They are not polyester. Have you bought yard goods lately? Any synthetic fabric good enough to even compete with silk in feel is more expensive than inexpensive silk. No, I didn't get an Hermes scarf for 35,000 lire; the last one I bought was 350,000 lire (as my son put it, 'Excuse me, Mom, but that sounds like it was more than our hotel room'). The original poster, Nancy, DID ask about INEXPENSIVE silk scarves.
 
Apr 4th, 2001, 12:36 PM
  #18  
Gerry
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OK. Let me clarify. There are many beautiful silk scarves made and sold in Italy. Often at very high prices. You can also find cheap polyester scarves. These are made in Italy. They make excellent cheap souvenier gifts for co-workers, friends etc. These are often mistaken for silk. Many people cannot tell the difference. They fooled my wife!
How do you tell the difference and how do I know? ---- They have labels attached by the manufacturer. Just like in the USA, these labels are regulated by the government and must be accurate. Street vendors etc. remove these labels and put on stick-on labels saying "puro seta"(pure silk). (This also applies to "cashmire" etc.) I have in my possession identical scarves, some with polyester labels and some with "puro seta" labels. If you see a scarve or other article with a stick on label, you can be almost certain that the original label was removed and it is almost certainly not what the stick on label claims.

Hope this helps.

Gerry
 
Apr 4th, 2001, 04:30 PM
  #19  
pam
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And let me reiterate: the scarf I just pulled out of my drawer to examine cost me 35,000 lire, has a sewn-into-the-seam label which says 'silk made in Italy' and it IS silk. I can tell by the way if feels. I can tell by the way it feels in my hand and against my neck. It is silk. It cost $17.50 US. It did not cost 5000 lire, $2.50 US, as Gerry describes. It qualifies, in my mind, as inexpensive. Pardon me if I sound defensive, but I seem to be 'hearing' poeple dispute what I am writing. Yes, you can buy very expensive silk scarves in Italy and very cheap and inexpensive polyester scarves in Italy; you can also buy inexpensive silk scarves in ITaly, which I did, and which was what I was trying to explain. That's my final answer, Regis.
 
Apr 4th, 2001, 04:55 PM
  #20  
Gerry
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Pam,

I absolutely do not doubt you. You clearly made a good find. I was just trying to explain to others about the difference. I said "SOME" are quite expensive. The polyester ones are a good buy for what they are. A real silk one is even better. Just trying to help people tell them apart. I'm proud of you for finding reasonably priced real silk scarves. Not everyone does. And you found the key--a real sewn on label.

Gerry

 

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