Buying leather in Florence is practically a rite of passage. Leather goods make for a perfect souvenir from the city and if you’re patient you’ll always find a bargain.
Buying leather in Florence – Where do you find what you’re looking for?
San Lorenzo Market is the obvious destination for an initial browse. Here you’ll find plenty of stalls and shops lining the streets, with a huge range of products. For a reasonably priced leather jacket this is your best bet. You won’t find fancy brands or high fashion labels, but instead a vast array of bags, coats and jackets for all tastes.
It is pure leather, but the quality of the manufacturing can vary, and it’s usually reflected in the price. Don’t be shy about asking for a discount and make sure you try things on before deciding. Sellers (usually not Italians, as in the last few years the market has been taken over by middle eastern traders) can be a but pushy but take your time to choose. Fun and cheap.
Near the market there’s the very good Pelletteria Artigiana (via Guelfa, 3/red). A workshop and shop with a great selection and courteous service.
The other area where you’ll be spoiled for choice in leather is in Santa Croce neighbourhood. For good quality hand made products and top customer service visit the Scuola del Cuoio and the huge (300 sq. meters) shop Bottega Fiorentina in Borgo dei Greci, 5/red. Wallets, bags, luggage, belts, clothing. You name it, you’ll find it.
If you’re after shoes, there’s a concentration of shoe shops in Via Cerretani, Borgo San Lorenzo, Via Pellicceria, and in the whole area around Piazza Duomo. Expect good quality and a wide variety of goods.
At the big Rinascente store in Piazza della Repubblica you’ll find high fashion European and Italian designers, and bags, shoes and accessories in great number. Prices on the high end.