As I’ve stated before, I’m a hardcore shopper, but in Florence, I realty went for the gold. While I appreciated the art I got to see, I especially appreciated the chance to collect fine things from a multitude of stores! As Colton would say, “I’m a baller!”
Before we left, I composed a list of things I wanted to bring home. Here it is:
- Leather goods
- Silk scarves
- Paper and journals
- Religious items
- Florence souvenirs
I’m pleased to say that I have lots of beautiful things on display from my travels that will always remind me of my trip. I learned from my shopping experience that when you’re in a foreign country and you don’t know if you’ll return, the best thing to do is allow yourself to splurge on something you love and will have for the rest of your life.
My favorite purchases were my leather items from Peruzzi leather. The Peruzzi store, located by Santa Croce, is a huge emporium of designer leather goods, the best the city has to offer. While its expensive, everything is completely and totally worth it. I got myself a beautiful pair of black ankle boots with suede backs that match everything I have in my closet and are quite arguably the most comfortable shoes I own. I also bought myself a light brown leather purse with a red strap, a Peruzzi brand crossbody with multiple compartments that gets more beautiful as the leather ages. It’s a tradition in Florence to get leather goods embossed with your initials at no charge, so of course I got my purse embossed – it has my initials in gold lettering, and I love it so much! While we were in Peruzzi, Colton and Caroline, another girl on our trip, both got leather jackets that are beautifully crafted and will last them forever. I also got my mom a leather clutch, of course bearing her initials, and my dad a leather belt, proudly showcasing his monogram. I also got my roommate a beautiful, dark brown scalloped wristlet purse, made of the same kind of leather Prada shoes are made of! Its beautiful, and she loves it!
My next stop was perfumes. I didn’t make it to the famous Santa Maria Novella Farmacia until the last day we were in Florence, unfortunately, but if I had gone earlier I definitely would have purchased something from the beautiful store! It was actually very overwhelming inside, but the items were beautifully displayed and smelled so wonderful. I definitely will have to make it a priority on my return trip to Florence! Instead, I found a cute little perfumery called SS Annunziata Farmacia. Inside, the woman was kind and spoke very good English, and was willing to help me find the perfect scent for my skin. In the end, I decided on a beautiful black tea scented perfume, fueling my love of the hot beverage and fresh, shower-like scents. I love the perfume so much and I hope it lasts forever!
Speaking of tea, Colton and I are both huge tea drinkers, so when we found a little tea shop called La Via del Te, we both decided to get our fill. I loved it because it served tea leaves instead of tea bags, which, in my opinion, makes for a better brew. I got a Florentine exclusive made from figs, almonds, and anise – it reminds me of my kitchen around Easter or Christmas, when my mom is baking biscotti or Easter bread. I also was drawn in by the zodiac teas they had – my zodiac is the Taurus, the raging bull, and the tea was made of my favorite flavors: black tea, peaches, cherries, and wild strawberry. I can’t wait to brew myself a delicious cup back here in the States and remember my adventures of shopping as I drink.
I found the perfect chocolates to satisfy my cravings for all things sweet. When we were in the States, the Drs. Wilkins brought us hazelnut chocolate in class, and I remember marveling at the soft, melt-in-your-mouth, Nutella-y taste. I was determined to return home with my own chocolates, and soon found them at a place called Venchi, the Italian equivalent of Hershey. I bought a huge bag of the delicious hazelnut squares, as well as the milk chocolate and the dark chocolate. It was all so delicious, and I’m going to try to make it last as long as possible!
There are so many more places I wish I had gotten to see in-depth, like the Ferragamo shoe boutique and AquaFlore, a perfume place where, upon making an appointment, the creator there will help you make your own unique perfume! Luckily, Carlee and I guaranteed a return to the beautiful city – as we were shopping today, we found the lucky boar, a Florentine fixture that brings luck to all that find it. By rubbing his snout, which is polished gold from the hundreds of hands that have touched it before, you’ll guarantee your return to beautiful Firenze!