No Mall Shopping!!!

In Seattle, mall shopping is good. Out of the rain and wind, lots of good sales and bargains. Not so here in Florence! The Mall is about 45 minutes outside of town, and the big names can all be found there: Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, etc. But the discounts there are not usually more than 10% or 20%, and that still leaves a hefty price tag on these designer items! I have been three times, and have never purchased a thing. And it takes a whole day by the time you take the bus there and back!


I prefer the small shops right here in Florence. This week I had to drag myself out of one of my favorite shoe shops before I purchased the booties I fell in love with. Caramel colored with a 2 inch wedge heel, and detailing that made me woozy. The white Chanel style cardigan sweater with navy piping and the most gorgeous gold buttons….well, I may have to go back!

Instead, I purchased a pot of Chinese Lantern to put on the little table on my courtyard. Such pretty fall color, and Chia approves.

Since Chia’s dog food costs 3 euro (about $4.00) per can here, I think I made a wise shopping choice. Besides, I know for certain that I really want something when I come home and think about it overnight! And dream about it!!!


The jewelry here is so beautiful too. Cameos are making a comeback, so if your grandmother left you a cameo ring or brooch, get it out and wear it!

I have seen such stunning Florentine gold jewelry here! Many shopping clients have purchased pieces and been thrilled with them: bracelets and necklaces with  diamond cut gold are favorites.  This method of cutting the 18k gold make it look like a strand of diamonds. They use rose gold, yellow gold, white gold and black gold in a huge number of variations from modern to antique looking. Bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings….will have to take some photos for next week’s blog. Think I will be dream of gold jewelry tonight! Or maybe handbags….

Shopping in Florence with Chia

Chia accompanies me everywhere in Florence, giving excellent shopping advice to the clients. She thought these boots were gorgeous, but too big in the calf to wear unless jeans are tucked in!







We had the day off yesterday, so after teaching ballet class, we had a nice lunch with our friend, Chippie, at All’Antico Vinaio. This is such a fun spot! You order what you want to eat from the selection of pannini and appetizers, and then pour yourself a glass of vino from the selection in the big tub in front of the shop. There are no tables, just benches on the sidewalk, and a few stools in the building. Strictly the honor system for payment here!

After lunch, Chia and I went shopping for a few winter sweaters I had seen in previous days. A cream cable knit, a taupe cashmere turtleneck, black stretchy pants with leather trim and a black cowl neck sweater came home with us. Along with a small black dog, who followed us all the way from Piazza Santa Croce! He was crazy about Chia, and I was ready to take him in, when the boxer who lives here appeared and wanted to eat him….the boxer’s owner ushered the little black dog, who I had already named Nero, back towards Santa Croce. 🙁

One of the shoppers this week was a really nice man from San Francisco- bright, entertaining and we hit it off right away. He bought a couple of beautiful leather jackets, handmade shoes, a couple of bags, a belt for his husband, and a gorgeous Italian suit.






Is there anything classier and better looking than an Italian suit? We had so much fun that we ended up doing another short shopping tour for him the following day.

This is a photo of a leather shop salesman embossing initials onto the beautiful new belt he bought for his husband.

Today was a group of five lovely ladies from Hawaii who were here just for the day. It was a shopping tour all about handbags! We went to several shops, and they found just what they wanted, including bags for daughters and wallets for sons. They left, and Chia and I made it home just before the thunderstorm started!

Many more shopping tours next week, so I am going to soak my feet, and think about that handbag I fell in love with today…

Florence Shopping!

Belts, and bags and boots, oh my! Here is a happy shopper who found just the right belt for her husband.


I have my eye on a beautiful camel belt about 3″ wide, made of the softest leather you can imagine. I see myself wearing it with an oversized cream turtleneck, and camel pants tucked into boots. And I know just where to shop for those boots here in Florence!

The darling mother and daughter who shopped with me last week, made lots of great purchases. They emailed to say their luggage including their handmade boots had been lost on the way home. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the suitcase shows up!








Shoe shopping for men too!

Shopping for shoes in Florence

When I think about fabulous shoes, men’s shoes are certainly not the first that come to mind! Men and their shoes conjure mental pictures of tennis shoes, Birkenstocks worn with socks, boring oxfords, etc. Shopping in Florence for men’s shoes has given me a whole new perspective! In the warm months when the Italian men occasionally wear beautiful linen shorts, they don soft leather loafers with no visible socks. We women must make this a cause celebre for other nations of the world! No more tennis shoes and Birkenstocks for our men in the summer months…..You see photographed a new convert to the Italian shoes for men. Note the happy smile of a man who has overcome the fashion faux pas of bad shoes with shorts!

And while I am on the subject of men’s shoes, I need to mention the gorgeous suede driving moccasins I just saw in navy blue, black, brown, tan and many other colors. The dress shoes here in Italy for men are absolutely gorgeous too. And they wear dress shoes with jeans as well as suits. No wonder we women love to gaze at the Italian men. It is all about the shoes!!!

Shopping in Florence, Italy

Happy shopper on spree!

What a great time we had on the shopping tour Saturday! Especially fun clients, who found just the things they wanted: leather jackets, gold jewelry, bags and a bottle of Brunello wine afterwards! Only problem is that they bought the gold earrings I have been lusting after, and the last pair! But just look at their happy faces.

Shopaholics Beware!!!

If, like me, you are a confirmed shopaholic, please be aware that the fall fashion and leather in Florence is potentially dangerous to your retirement fund, and/or your children’s college tuition…. I have had a sneak peek and am salivating as I write. If I had to hone it down to one item, it would be BOOTS!!! Flat boots, suede boots, boots with embellishment, boots that just make you want to cry they are so gorgeous….And don’t even get me started on the leather jackets and handbags. I have my eye on a soft cream leather jacket in a 50’s style, with jewel length sleeves and a stand up collar. I see myself wearing it everywhere, even to bed! No pictures allowed yet, but as of the first week in September, I will post tons! Until then, I wish you a beautiful August!

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy