Although the store looks nice and has decent quality leather, there was a problem with a jacket I had altered and shipped to me. I had to pay customs a lot, and return shipping. My debit card protection was not as good as a credit card would have been. I finally got a refund after 8 months. I'd suggest not having items shipped to you and making sure you like what you leave a store with.
The quality of products at this ship were great. The owner was in the shop and terrific to work with. I lost his card, so if anyone goes there and can get his email address I would appreciate it. I'm back in the US now and would like to order Christmas gifts from him.
What to buy: Bags, luggage, wallets
What to pay: Nice bag for 110 euro
I highly recommend Maren’s personal shopping service. I had a very short time in Florence as I was on a cruise and we had only a day in port. Maren easily accommodated my schedule and even planned an informal wine tasting walking tour within Florence for my husband while we were busy shopping. It was a most enjoyable shopping experience and I would definitely recommend it!
What to buy: Gold, Leather, Fashion
I wasn't intending buying anything (budget wise and because I was flying Ryanair Hand Luggage only, with their tight restrictions).
However, my hotel was next to the San Lorenzo markets, so I passed through on Christmas Eve and Monday 26th.
Although I wasn't intending to buy, a particular style of coat caught my eye, and a stall holder quoted me 150 Euros-I said I'd think about it.
Another Stall holder 'enticed' me to his shop -(I went because I was curious to find out how much he would charge and what his Sales tactics would be ("50% discount- only because it's Christmas"/ How much money Have You got? (20 Euros was my honest reply) Have you got a Credit Card? (No-well it was in my Hotel Room)/We can do shipping (I'd rather take it back myself/wear it) Back in my hotel though, I decided that This was THE Coat for me! I was planning on offering 95-100 Euros or less and was ready for some haggling practice!
The Market was closed next day, but on the 26th, I had a wander into some of the leather shops that were open.
One was Remo2 on Via Ponte alle Mosse (next to the Central Market)
Here I was met by Marco. I spotted the coat that I'd seen and asked to try it on. Straight away he said that this wasn't the coat for me - it was wrong for my height and body shape. I tried it on, and yes he was right- far too bulky and made me look a few sizes larger. He then proceeded to offer other styles that he thought were better suited to me - pointing out how they made my body look in them - ie taller/slimmer (Blimey, I'd found a Macho Italian Gok Wan!). He also explained that he could shorten the sleeves etc on his machine.
Also I got an explanation of the different skins used- the soft lamb skin, tougher buffalo, antelope etc, plus the obligatory cigarette lighter test- to prove that it's leather which doesn't burn or mark unlike pvc etc. He also pointed out one piece of poor quality, where the pieces of skin didn't match.
I'd explained that I wasn't intending buying, but would return to Florence later to purchase at least one coat/jacket. I was expecting this to be ignored and for 'The Hard Sell' to kick in, but it didn't.
On my last day in Florence, I returned to this shop to remind myself of the coats/jackets I'd tried on, expecting to see Marco, but was met by a shifty young chap who tried the 'Hard Sell' Straight away offering me 'the Magic 50% discount'.
I decided to 'test him out' by asking to try on the coat that I'd initially liked the look of- Oh yes, he said it suited me and mentioned the 50% discount again-I'd already seen this ploy in action in other shops where coats labelled 300 Euros were 'instantly'reduced to 150 Euros (Though most coats /jackets aren't labelled with a price).
I mentioned that I'd been in previously and had dealt with Marco who had shown me some other styles and also mentioned that I wasn't buying and that I was returning home later that day- He tried the Credit Card/Shipping ploy-but I think he realised that he'd 'lost me'
Shortly after Marco appeared and we went through the jackets I'd tried on previously. Again I explained that I wasn't buying, but would return later, which didn't seem to be a problem
So, I'd recommend looking around the market stalls/shops of San Lorenzo etc, keeping your eyes and ears open and keep going back to a shop/ store holder that You're happy with, before making your final decision.
What to buy: Leather coats or jackets
Butter soft leather gloves - cashmere lined for warmth.
Leather bound note books
key rings etc
What to pay: From a few Euros for a key fob to as much as your bank manager will allow!
The Leather School attached to Santa Croce is very well known. It was founded after the Second World War to provide war orphans with a trade from which a living could be made. Much later, this social welfare program expanded to inamtes at Murate prison and in juvenile detention facilities. Today, training in leather goods continues, and tourists and visitors to Florence can take advantage in one of the short courses available -- what a souvenir, to bring home a leather book cover you've made yourself! Of course, at 190 euros plus the 20% VAT, you may be better off just buying one.
Goods crafted in the Leather School are sold in La Bottega. A wide variety of small goods are available, and if you wish to have something gold-stamped, it can be done while you wait. There are also lovely coats and even furniture available.
Certainly you will be able to find less-expensive leather goods in Florence. But isn't it nice to provide a benefit to a School which began with such a social mission?
What to buy: I loved the men's belts, but all the leather goods were beautiful -- I purchased a jewelry roll for my daughter-in-law and was thrilled to learn that I could have her initials stamped into the buttery-soft leather.
What to pay: Exquisite hand-made goods are expensive. That jewelry roll ran more than $100.00.
What to buy: Florence is known for their leather and there are shops all over. Look for bargains and compare prices as there are many shops. You can find virtually anything, from belts and jackets to handpags and luggage.
Lily of Florence was a great find. Being a shoe lover I was impressed with the quality of the shoes at reasonable prices. The service was excellent and family run.
What to buy: Leather, Shoes, Handbags, Art Crafts
What to pay: $125
In the Piazza Santa Croce there are AMAZING leather and jewelry shops. Yes, we ended up spending the $100s but it was well worth it and has more than retained its value and use. The jewelry and leather planner I bought have not tattered whatsoever and it's been 2+ years now.
Definitely worth the while!!!
What to buy: Leather and Jewelry
Olive Oil and Wine are also great items here!
What to pay: $100s if you don't watch yourself!!
I bought the BEST bag at Monom, bags and accessories near the San Lorenzo Market. Giorgio, the owner, was delightful, and gave me a HUGE discount on my bag. I was on a student budget, and needed a good deal. I definately got it. Giorgio was so much fun, that I went back to visit before I left Florence. If you EVER get a chance to visit the shop, don't miss out! Borgo la Noce 15r, Florence, 50123 (next to the San Lorenzo Market and close to the Central Market).
What to buy: Bags, Bags, and MORE BAGS! All leather goods. Florence is FAMOUS for it's leather goods. Check out the San Lorenzo Market for good deals.
What to pay: It depends on the item, quality, style, and mark. You can start at 20 euro and go up past 400 euro for a high quality leather bag.
FERI s.a.s is a small leather goods shop selling leather wallets and an incredible assortment of leather handbags. The saleswoman gave me an big discount on a lambskin handbag I brought there. I only spent a little over a hundred dollars on it. She was incredibly friendly, persuasive, and showed me with a cigarette lighter how real leather doesn't burn again and again! She also gave me tips on how to care, condition, and moisturize my leather handbag for life. I recommend all women interested in genuine leather handbags to check it out. While the prices in store shops are higher than the ones on the street. Keep in mind that you are paying a higher price for much better quality and being assured it's genuine cowskin or lambskin. The ones sold on the street markets are not only of much lower quality leather it's either fake or made of pigskin.
What to pay: 70 euros and up
Roberta's has a glove shop adjacent to their leather bag shop. They leather gloves in all varieties. They have a range of sizes, designs and colours. You can also choose the type of lining you want e.g. unlined, silk or cashmere. (silk is good for most weather conditions, although cashmere is nice for really cold climates.) The staff are very helpful.
the shop is south of the Arno, so there are less crowds, although this shop seems to be gaining popularity.
What to pay: 20-50 euros
Luciano's sells leather goods in all varieties. They have a range of sizes, deisgns and colours. you can also choose the type of lining you want e.g. unlined, silk or cashmere. (silk is good for most weayher conditions, althought cashmere is nice for really cold climates.)
What to pay: expect to pay from 20-50 euros depending on the length and lining
When we were wandering between Duomo and Piazza della Signoria we saw a small shop which has many leather gloves on its window. I like gloves but I didn’t find the model I wanted in Istanbul. So when I saw the variety of models in Italy I was really impressed. I bought my first pair of gloves in Venice. It was pink. So, I wanted another classic pair when my friends started to look the models.
The gentleman who owns the shop was very kind and helpful. He is a professional; he told our sizes just by looking once. And he told us that he produce the gloves himself. Also there were some hats in the shop.
What to buy: Many many gloves
What to pay: Between 20-40 euros
I cannot imagine visiting Florence without emerging overloaded with leather goods, especially bags. I've been to Florence twice now and both times came home with new luggage (which I then gave to family as gifts...). Between the many designers and the street markets (which no doubt get some inspiration from the designers) this is shopping heaven.
Florence is a great place for leather. Shoes, purses, jackets...basically anything you could want. The outdoor markets definately have some great deals. Just don't go for the original price on the tag. Always try to bargain down. And definately shop around. Most vendors have the exact same item as the vendor three stalls down. And hey you can always come back right? Most places will offer lower prices for cash.