There are certain things in every country that make them a shopping destination. On my recent trip through Italy, I did a little shopping myself, and bought a few of the things that Italy does so well, including leather goods and murano glass. I’m a bit in love with my purchases, and wanted to share them with you, as well as maybe making a little shopping guide for you too!
I fell in love with this bag, it’s such an unusual mermaid colour and the leather is so soft and buttery. It’s fairly small, because I like smaller bags for casual outings, but the shape means that it holds a lot. It’s unbranded, you’ll find that while there are loads of wonderful Italian designers and designer stores, you can get an incredible deal on beautiful leather goods if you’re willing to take a look in the smaller stores for handmade original pieces. This one was £25 approximately, converted from Euros.
Venice is known for it’s incredible and sometimes incredibly hideous glassware. Everything from wine glasses and vases to dancing carnival figures. There are so many glass stores there it’s insane, and it’s worth wandering around because a lot of places have the same things, and also because there are some beautiful stores and some that are pretty bad. I saw this little black kitty and had to pick him up because he reminded me of Grimoire. He was about £8, but prices very hugely, and larger pieces can be very expensive. If you’re lucky, you might be able to spy a glassworker creating little figures in the back of the store.
While you can get some absolutely gorgeous paper goods in Florence like journals and letter writing paper, I fell in love with the apothecary at Santa Maria Novella convent. This is one of those places that F Scott Fitzgerald characters would order their beauty products from and swear by. Inside, the building is all wood paneling and frescos, and sits on the side of the beautiful church and convent, the nuns of which were originally the makers of the perfumes, soaps and other products that this store is famous for and the ingredients were grown in the convent gardens. The prices here are steep, but I feel are worth it, but yes, my boyfriend did smile a little when I told him I was spending £10 on a bar of soap made my nuns in an upmarket apothecary that was hundreds of years old!
This was a more serendipitous purchase. Coming around a corner between tourist attractions and looking for our next pizza stop, the sun in Rome caught a table of shining rings. There are loads of street vendors that sell little hand made and designed things, and this was so cute I couldn’t go past it. It was £10, so not a major big buy but it’s so so sparkly and pretty, and looks really nice on. The man that makes them told me that it’s made from titanium and crystal, and I’m not sure that it’s true, but I wear it a lot and it’s really very beautiful (and hasn’t made my finger green! ha ha!). I think you have to be aware with little tourist stalls that you’re not going to necessarily get amazing quality, but at the same time, the designs are little hand made and cheap pieces that you’re probably not going to see someone else wearing. But anyway you look at it, this is one shiny ring and I love it.