The San Lorenzo outdoor leather market in Florence, Italy

The leather market

★★★

Florence’s outdoor San Lorenzo leather market is a great place to bargain for a classic Florentine souvenir

The San Lorenzo leather market.
The San Lorenzo leather market.Break out your haggling skills, the streets around San Lorenzo church are packed with stalls peddling knock-off Gucci scarves, souvenir T-shirts, marbleized paper products, jewelry, wallets, and especially leather—great place to shop for a leather jacket for yourself, and stock up on belts, purses, and wallets as gifts.

Many stalls are really just outposts for the stores behind them, and every owner seems to speak English better than you, so be ready for the hard sell.

(Actually, for most of the workers and, increasingly, the owners of the leather market stalls, it’s Italian that is their third language, after English and whatever it was they grew up speaking—usually Albanian.)

Be firm, be patient, and you should be able to bargain your way down to a decent number and get the goods at a price you’re willing to pay. You should be able to get a jacket for not much more than €100–€150.

If nothing else, the market is a carnival of colors and noise and, so long as you watch out for pickpockets, can be a welcome, earthy break from all that art and a nice photo opportunity.

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