Florence, Italy

“I’m going to Florence for the weekend.” How fun it was to get to take a weekend trip to such a fun city! One of my favorite things about Europe is how close all the countries are and how easy it is to get everywhere. Although the trains are very useful, Italian trains are much different than the English trains I have been on. In other words, I did not understand the train station at all. But we made it to and from Florence safely! Once in the city, we explored museums I didn’t visit on my trip a few years ago. Honestly, I think we only shopped during our last visit to Florence. This time around, I viewed many unique art pieces. Specifically, I saw the David. I enjoyed viewing all the art; however, the best part of Florence was the leather market.

Florence is known for the San Lorenzo Market. It is an open-air leather market in the city. While in Florence a few years ago, I bought a leather tote at this market. The purses sold at the leather market are hand-made with Italian leather, and they are incredibly well-made. I still carry my purse constantly! Going to the market, I thought I had directed us in the right direction, but it took us almost an hour to finally find the right place. There are two leather markets in Florence– I prefer the market near Zara. I have noticed that this market is run by Italians, while the other market is typically run by foreigners who do not actually make the leather. Hot and exhausted, Jaclyn and I searched the leather market for a while before we finally found the maker and vendor of my original purse. I loved getting to explain to the vendor how much I love his purses and how well-made I thought they were. Then, of course, we bought a few purses.

All in all, I do appreciate the historic art, but I think the best thing about exploring new cities is interacting with the locals and understanding the common culture. The leather market is one of the best ways to interact with locals. I think the vendor who sold me my purses thoroughly enjoyed explaining the structure of his purses and his design. These purses are his pride and joy; it’s how he makes his living. It is exciting to be able to show appreciation for other arts, like hand-made leather, as well; and also get to bring a piece of Italy home with me!

 

Michelangelo’s David.

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Such a gloomy picture, but this is the view from a bridge in Florence. I didn’t realize how murky and gross the water was!

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