Famous Leather Jackets
As the Italians will say, the selection of stores and markets offering leather jackets in Florence "è embarassante" which literally means it is (almost) embarrassing. And although I wouldn't say it is embarassing - I would venture to say, it is overwhelming.
The Florentine tradition of working leather dates back into antiquity. Due to the proximity of the Arno river, providing an endless supply of water necessary for the tanning process, Florence and other small towns bordering the river became important sources of high quality leather. Today’s market encourages these artisans to produce an exceptionally soft and supple leather while exploring different textures, embossing and colors. This means that the buyer is constantly accosted with new options, styles and more importantly prices.
If you are looking for a leather jacket - then you will be delight in the selection to be found in Florence, as it will literally appear unending. If you are looking for an Italian leather jacket - the search will require you to be a bit more discerning.
Know What You are Buying
The first major decision you have is do you want a
- leather jacket - a jacket from leather?
- an "Italian" leather jacket - a jacket MADE in Italy?
- an "Italian leather" jacket - a jacket MADE with Italian leather? from Italy? from Florence?
There is a difference, and it is not just in the semantics; you will also see it in the price. Leather jackets that cost under 200 Euros, may indeed be made in Italy…. however the origin of the leather might be dubious. Other questions you might want to ponder as the seller flashes that unbelivable price in front of your eyes:
- It is good leather?
- Has the jacket been sewn in Italy?
- Is it "Italian" leather?
- Is it "real" leather?
And, of course, there is always the question: if it is not Italian leather, does that mean its not good leather? The obvious answer is NO, but it does mean it is not the quality of leather that one associates with Italy and, therefore, may not wear as well as you had hoped when you made the investment.
Four Top Choices by the Locals
It is near to impossible to give you a list of the best places to buy a leather jacket - because your options are almost endless. As you roam the beautiful streets of Florence you will be bombarded with stores, market stalls and enticing boutiques that offer jackets. In my quest to provide a bit of groundwork, I turned to the natives and I asked them... if you were to buy a leather jacket, where would you go? And some of the answers surprised me. I thought most would have that tiny hidden secret boutique, but actually the results proved that they prefered the classic stores which are practically status symbols in Florence.