Florence is a feast for the senses, from the stunning sights to the delicious cuisine to the warm leather smell. In fact, a good quality leather bag is one of the most enduring souvenirs you can take home from your trip to Florence. But with so many leather goods to choose from, how do you know what you’re getting?
The easiest way to know what you’re buying is to buy directly from the leather craftsman. This is easy to do for small items like change purses and wallets, but not so much for clothing or accessories. For this reason, it’s a good idea to divorce the leather jacket or handbag from its setting and focus on the craftsmanship.
Thankfully, Florence is brimming with leather artisans who are eager to show off their work. San Lorenzo market and the Mercato Nuovo are both known for their leather merchandise, but there are also many shops in the backstreets of Oltrarno that specialize in the craft.
The most reputable of these are the artisan groups that operate their own workshops where you can see and touch the product as it’s being made. One of the best in this category is Dimitri Villoresi, who specializes in gorgeously designed bags and belts for men and women. Another is the new kid on the block BenHeart, which offers high-quality 100% made in Italy products. Their shoes, bags and jackets are just as cool as they are functional. florence leather bags