My best friend, Heidi (who has been my best friend since we were 12 years old) is really the one who is responsible for my starting to do shopping tours in Florence. When she came to visit me here several years ago, she asked me to take her shopping and suggested that I do this for fun with other people too.
I have met so many great people from all over the world and had a wonderful time shopping with them! I love taking people to shop in the out of the way, small stores, where we can find unique items. Chia and I have so much fun here- she is always eager to travel with me to Florence.
So getting back to my BFF, Heidi…She just suggested that my blog has been a little too laden with handbags recently and that I should write a suggested packing list for those of you who are coming to Florence.
For starters, I always have a sundries bag filled and ready to go anywhere at any time. The “mini round boxes” from thecontainerstore.com are one of my favorite finds. These little clear boxes with screw on lids are perfect for medications, a bit of moisturizer, a little of this and a little of that- the things we hate to leave at home, but don’t want to take the Costco size bottle!
Of course we all know that comfortable walking shoes are a must. The real difficulty here is finding the combination of comfort and style! None of us wants to look dowdy in Florence, where the women dress so impeccably. How DO they ride a bicycle in a chic suit and stilettos while chatting on a cell? I digress…My shoes here consist of flat boots, smoking slipper style flats and sandals with a little wedge. I can combine these shoes with pants or dresses. DO NOT BRING WHITE TENNIS SHOES with you. Enough said. Flip flops are considered beach shoes here and worn only by the young students in town.
Clothing for travel here should consist of “casual elegance”. Leave the jeans and sweats at home. Not only do they take up too much room in the suitcase, but they are not the thing to wear here. If you must bring jeans, make them stylish dress jeans. I prefer dresses in the warm weather, with a cardigan. Nice pants with layering tops work well too. No shorts for adults, please, and remember that leggings are not pants! Bring a lightweight raincoat for early spring and fall. A pair of little slippers is great any time of year- the terra cotta floors are always cold! I always travel with a scarf: love the big, classic silk square I bought here. I use it as a blanket on the plane, around my neck (the silk folds up nice and small) and have even used it as a beach cover up!