It’s one of the must-buys when you visit Florence; the city specializes in beautiful leather goods and the markets make them affordable. If you have a love of either shoes, purses, belts, coats or jackets, this is the city for you to shop in.
There are leather shops dotted all over the city and it’s definitely important to sample the market before you part with your cash. You’ll find many places have the same things but at different prices. And then of course there are the markets.
The two markets for leather goods are San Lorenzo and Mercato Nuovo.
San Lorenzo is the larger of the two and runs most of the length of Via dell Ariento between Via Nazionale (near the main station) and Piazza di San Lorenzo (at the Basilica di San Lorenzo). Along the way you’ll pass the Medici Chapel and the main indoor food market Mercato Centrale which is tucked in behind the outdoor leather and souvenir stalls.
It’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed at San Lorenzo. There is so much to see and so many stallholders assuring you that their product is the best at the best price. This is why you need to make a few comparison trips if you have time. What you’ll soon realise is that the market stalls really do often have the same goods at wildly different prices. This is because they expect you to bargain with them – it’s part of the game for them so never ever pay the first price they say.
Photo courtesy of Paul Vanderwerf via Flickr.