I am back in SF now, and sad to have left Italy, and sad to say goodbye to Maren and her dog, Chia! I am a busy professional gay man, I know what I like, I love clothes and shoes and have a good eye for fashion, especially what looks good on men. So I couldn’t imagine hiring a shopping guide before. But for this trip to Italy, I was only in Florence a few days before heading to a dear friend’s wedding in Trieste, and knew I was short on time. My last time in Florence was 10 years ago, and so I knew I wanted to look at leather coats. I also packed lightly, and knew I wanted an Italian suit for the wedding, and didn’t want to schlepp one of my own suits from the States. I contacted Maren knowing I would be short on time, and wanted someone to hone in on a few quality shops with reasonable prices. Maren was a dream! We hit it off right away, and with her guidance and in depth knowledge of the Florence shopping scene, I was able to walk away with some gorgeous pieces: two leather coats, two leather bags, belts, a gorgeous Italian suit and a pair of the most beautiful, comfortable, high quality hand made shoes I have ever owned. Thanks Maren for the easy breezy shopping, your advice and eye, and your great personality. A word to the gay men who love quality clothing: if you have the time and money to spend, want incredibly good quality at reasonable prices, contact Maren! Do yourself the favor, and skip trying to do it on your own. Maren knows the best places and deals, plus she is a blast to spend time with. Happy shopping, and thanks again Maren!!
What to buy: Leather, leather, and did I say, leather? Men's suits. Belts, wallets, and most importantly, shoes.
What to pay: Maren charged 75 euro for 2 1/2 hours. Well worth her expertise.
If Ferragamo would have been alive in the renaissance, David (yes, the statue) would have not been naked. I would have expected David's creator, Michelangelo to collaborate with this master Florentine designer to give David a more "modest" appearance. Why not, Salvatore Ferragamo's flagship shop is in Florence - and a HUGE one at that - just off Ponte Sta Trinita. Fans of Ferragamo would not only be treated to probably the biggest selection of their favorites but also to a museum, which was unfortunately closed when I was there. Fortunately, I was able to gather enough self-control and (more importantly) self-restraint when I visited Ferragamo's store - much to Visa's dismay.