Florence has been PACKED with people this week. From what our AirBnB landlord said, all of the tourists have arrived, and it is the week before all of the local Italians leave for the summer. So… we get to meet all of them 🙂
This afternoon, Dennis and I walked the town one last time. We tried to push against the current of the amoeba-esqe crowds to get to a leather market that a few friends told us we have to visit.
We passed the Duomo Cathedral on the way to the market, which is incredibly beautiful! Most definitely not a bad view.
We had been told that the market has incredible leather handbags and wallets, as well as scarfs, hats and other items. Supposedly, a lot of the products are made from the “cabbage” the major designers like Prada don’t use [new vocab for me, but my friend Anita told me that this is the scraps that the designers don’t use when they are done making their bazillion dollar bags]. Essentially, they are the same materials and patterns as the real deal bags, just without the label! Pretty impressive.
Now, I was a bit nervous in anticipation going to this market today. I had heard that it is [obviously] very crowded, and you HAVE to barter with the merchants. From our trip to Marrakech, I got a real glimpse that Dennis really hates crowds, getting heckled to buy things, bartering, and shopping [I already knew the shopping one, but it just further solidified my knowledge].
Basically, going to this market was a recipe for complete disaster.
We turned the corner to a square teeming with colorful handbags and racks upon racks of leather goods.
People zigzagged back and forth between the narrow aisles as I started to browse.
I tried to pry Dennis away from his iPhone screen and get him focused on our very important task ahead.
He NEEDED a new wallet. His was falling apart at each seam, but he saw nothing wrong with that…
Me: “Dennis, do you need a new wallet?”
Dennis: “Meh… Probably should.”
“Probably should” is good enough for me.
I zipped up and down the aisles scouring for something that looked like it would work. We found one stand on the edge of the square that had some good options. Dennis picked the smallest one after about 30 seconds of looking and said, “Ok, I like this one, I guess.”
Alrighty. Done and done. I asked the guy who owned the products how much the wallet cost. He told me “10 Euros.”
[Already prepared] I said, “How about we go with 8 Euros and call it even.”
“Nope, I already marketed it down from 18, so I have to stick to 10.”
Without hesitation, Dennis said, “Alright, sounds good. We’ll take it.”
[Deflated] I walked away from the stand and I told Dennis I was all ready to barter… and he stole my thunder! [I never really argue…unless if it’s something that is actually important…but this time I wanted to banter a little bit!]
Oh well, it was really only about $3 difference 🙂
I didn’t end up finding anything that I loved that was within the budget, so I passed on the goodies for the day–and that’s probably for the best [I definitely don’t feel like lugging anything else around for the next month!].
Overall, it was a pretty pleasant experience for being a super packed market. Dennis was a good sport 🙂
Lastly, we hiked to the Piazzale Michaelangelo…the incredibly beautiful peak to see the entire city of Florence! It is an incredibly beautiful town… I really hope that we can come back someday!