John not feeling well so we had a slow start to the day. I went shopping (mainly window shopping) then we headed over the Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti Palace where we lined up for 20mins before buying tickets for the Palantine Gallery, the Royal Apartments and the Boboli Gardens. We wandered with an audio guide for about 2 hours. Just amazing.
Next we walked around the streets nearby and found the Basilica di Santo Spirito. Then back over the river and ended up having something to eat at the café we found on the first afternoon we arrived.
Then wandered the back streets and John bought me a leather handbag on the way back to our room. This place was amazing. We had looked and looked all over Florence for a real Florence handbag maker and could not find anything genuine. Two door from our accommodation was a tiny shop. As we walked, exhausted, just aiming to get home on our last night in Florence. John saw a man in this tiny shop working on a leather watchband. He poked his head in and found that shop crammed with leather goods and, crucially, machines for working with leather. John called me back as I was about to insert the key in the door to our accommodation and said that I should look at this. The man was not at all pushy, so different from the market stall holders. He continued to work as we poked around in the shop. I found a bag and then he showed interest in us. I had specific requirements and he showed how that bag that fitted all these requirements. John asked the price, which was more than the market bags, but not too much more. John decided to buy it at that price. To our amazement, instead of just wrapping the bag in paper, the man took another heavy linen bag and put the leather bag inside it. He said this was to protect it on the trip home, so the leather would not be marked. John thinks that outer bag would have sold for 20-25 Euro, so maybe he expected us to bargain. Back in the accommodation I googled this shop and found a lot of very satisfied leather shoppers that also stumbled on the shop and were pleased with the products and price. He was an artisan from a family of leather artisans.Read more