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Where to shop for fine leather items in Italy?

Where to shop for fine leather items in Italy?

Old Aug 12th, 2000, 04:47 PM
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Where to shop for fine leather items in Italy?


We will be travelling around Northern Italy for several weeks in September. We will spend most of our time in smaller towns but will be in Venice and Florence for several days. I was wondering where we should shop for high quality leather products like jackets, wallets, and leather bags. Is there a certain chain of stores that's known for quality goods or is there a certain area that we should visit?


Old Aug 12th, 2000, 06:25 PM
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Florence is full of small stores with a wide range of leather goods. They make all the usual items and then some (shoes, jackets, wallets, photo albums, leather eyeglass cases, leather wastebaskets --- if you can think of it, they've got a leather version).
You may find a slightly better price from some of the outdoor vendors, but best to stick with the stores if you're buying alot as they can provide the paperwork to get your VAT tax reimbursement (assuming that you're from the States or outside the European Common Mkt countries).

I liked the area by the Church of Santa Croce. The Piazza San Croce in front of the church has several shops. I bought from two places, "Luciano's" and "Poker" (got my leather jacket from Poker's).

And either before or after your shopping expedition, do go into Santa Croce - it's a beautiful church with several wonderful frescoes by Giotto and the tombs of several reknown figures (Machiavelli, Rossini, Ghiberti among others).

Buon Viaggio.
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 07:25 PM
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I found this website while searching for shoe manufacturers/outlets near Venice:
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 10:08 AM
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You might find out what days the "market" is in town. We happened to be driving through Pescia, near Montecatini Terme on market day (Friday) and stumbled upon the market. They had quite a few leather stalls. We found "White Mountain" leather sandals for $7.50! Unfortunately, the darn ATM machine would accept our cards, and my daughter was the only one with cash at the moment. So, I came home empty handed, and she -with just one pair.
However, at a market in Paris, I found a great leather purse for $15.00. That day, I did have cash-now I have a new purse to carry it in.
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 01:14 PM
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The area around Santa Croce in Florence has many leather shops. We purchased two coats in that area just because we liked the owner and sales consultant. The other shops all had used car salesmen working in them. Also try the Florence Leather School. It is located in the Santa Croce church where Michaelango is buried. Just walk into the church and head to the far back right corner. Keep following the hallway past the tourist shop and you will see a sign for the Leather School. Very good quality and nice prices. They will also put your initials in gold on any item while you wait. My wife purchased a purse there last year early in our trip and never found another one she liked better (and she tried!). Enjoy the trip.
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 06:09 PM
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Clark: Found some good info on the Frommer's Online site with regards to shopping in Florence.
(okay, Fodor's, promise not to make a habit of cruisin' the competitors!)
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Florence isn't a city for bargain shopping, though. Most visitors interested in gold or silver jewelry head for the Ponte Vecchio and its tiny shops. It's difficult to tell one from another, but you really don't need to since the merchandise is similar. If you're looking for a charm or souvenir, these shops are fine. But the heyday of finding gold jewelry bargains on the Ponte Vecchio is long gone.

The street for antiques is Via Maggio; some of the furnishings and objets d'art here are from the 16th century. Another major area for antiques shopping is Borgo Ognissanti. Florence's Fifth Avenue is Via dei Tornabuoni--the place to head for the best-quality leather goods, for the best clothing boutiques, and for stylish but costly shoes. Here you'll find everyone from Armani to Ferragamo.

The better shops are for the most part along Tornabuoni, but there are many on Via Vigna Nuova, Via Porta Rossa, and Via degli Strozzi. You might also stroll on the lungarno along the Arno. For some of the best buys in leather, check out Via del Parione, a short narrow street off of Tornabuoni.

Shopping hours are generally Monday 4 to 7:30pm and Tuesday to Saturday 9 or 10am to 1pm and 3:30 or 4pm to 7:30pm. During summer, some shops open Monday morning. However, don't be surprised if some shops are closed for several weeks in August or for the entire month.

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A Free Look at the Leather Factory

Like the crafts activity in the renowned Santa Croce church. Everybody goes there to see the famous tombs (see above) and an altarpiece (and wall frescoes) by Giotto. But hardly any tourist knows that in a corridor and show rooms at the right hand corner, twelve skilled artisans are keeping the oldest and best traditions of leathercrafting alive. Baby calf (or croco or ostrich) leather is transformed before your eyes (admission is free) into decorated desk sets, jewelry cases, jackets, handbags, and a hundred other products, and then sold for prices well below what leather shops in Florence charge: as little as 1,500 lire (95) for book markers, 4,000 lire ($2.50) for coin purses, 12,000 lire ($7) for key holders. Open mid-March to mid-November; take a side entrance at 5r Via San Giuseppe when Mass is being performed.

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