Before I left for Italy, I had jotted down a concise list of fashionable Italian goodies which I had to find (and own). As girlish and Barbie doll-like as this may seem, I just had to get my hands on a pink leather jacket after seeing an elegant blonde strutting along Via MonteNapoleone in Milan wearing a short, bright pink jacket with denims while I was there during the rainy April month. I knew that tracking down such an adorable item would be almost impossible in South Africa and if I did happen to find a jacket in a similar style and colour, it would almost certainly bankrupt me and the leather would never be nearly as soft.
Going walkabout in search of this particular ‘clone’ gave direction and purpose to my time spent shopping along the cobbled streets in Florence’s city centre. There is certainly no better place on earth to buy top quality leather clothing and accessories and my hunt ended prematurely when I found this attention-grabbing bubblegum pink jacket upstairs in the De Leoni Pelleteria (leather factory). Alberto was a great salesman and while I needed very little convincing, he took sweet time to talk my cousin into purchasing two beautiful jackets – a black sporty men’s jacket and a longer length ladies’ coat in a delicious plum shade. Alberto also explained that Florentines have mastered the treatment processes which are applied to skins imported from around the world – including South Africa.
Genuine leather bags and accessories are also plentiful all over the city. Designs seem pretty standard but the palette of colours is mind-boggling and paying as little as 20 euros for a genuine leather bag is truly a steal!