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Take one glance at the hundreds of leather jackets flapping in the breeze in the San Lorenzo market, and you will realize how overwhelming shopping in Florence can be. We all want to come home from Florence with a special souvenir, but selecting which leather bag or gold bracelet is the right choice can be intimidating.

The Pursuit of Authenticity

How do you know if you’re buying something authentic and high quality, something made locally and in a traditional way? How do you gauge how much you should pay, and how do you know if you’re being ripped off? How do you determine if you have fallen prey to one of the city’s many tourist traps? High-pressure sales tactics, the plethora of brand-name knockoffs sold on the street, and a dizzying array of high- and low-quality merchandise marketed alongside one another in the same shops and markets, make for a confusing shopping experience.

Is the pursuit of authenticity worth all the trouble? You bet. Learning about the authenticity of Florentine craft traditions immerses you in the history of the city and the spirit of the Florentines themselves. In fact, I would argue that it’s one of the best ways to experience Florence from the inside out, ensuring that you’ll go home with memories–and hopefully a meaningful souvenir—to treasure for a lifetime.

The Capital of the Italian Renaissance

My mission is to lead travelers to the best of the city’s most traditional arts: fabrics, frames, jewelry, leather goods, maiolica, paper, woodcrafts, and more. My Florence guides include practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world. Packed with useful information on quality and value, along with comprehensive shopping resources, my Florence guides are the perfect complement for travelers wanting to bring home the unique traditions of the capital of the Italian Renaissance.

Have you discovered something wonderful in Florence? Drop a comment below. I love to hear your stories!

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