|Shop Balenciaga Green bag here, Chiffon ruffled skirt by Topshop.|
|Fountain in Boboli Garden, next to Palazzo Pitti|
|Joseph Tank top, Topshop floral ruffled skirt, Green Capri Sandals bought in Anacapri, Bronze tinted Ray Bans|
Having spent most of my two days in Florence getting a bit more cultured and in the process reverting back to a more intelligent mental state, there was only room for some selective shopping and window-licking as the French would so rightly put it.
My trip to the Uffizzi gallery, the oldest museum in the world , built by the Medici family during the renaissance period, and the grounds of Palazzo Vecchio were punctuated with pit-stops at local market stalls selling quality leather satchels and handbags , some made by the exact same factories and artisans who produce Balenciaga and Prada. Rows of brightly coloured soft leather bags for a mere 30 euros, and leather braided friendship bracelets lined the streets of old Florence.
|View of Santa Maria Del Fiore Cathedral, from the top of the Brunelleschi Dome, expect to climb a steep 500 steps.|
|The Baptistry of Santa Maria Del Fiore Cathedral|
I even decided to follow the opulent theme to watch Verdi’s La Traviatta at the opera house, in a preppy silk crème blouse, wear-anywhere tailored sequined shorts and Miu Miu gold strappy sandals I had just bought on sale.
|White Chiffon Zara preppy blouse, tailored sequined shorts from Maje, Miu Miu gold ankle strap sandals, Vintage Bronze Satchel bag from Francesco Biasa|
The appetite for all things precious, led me to Ponte Vecchio where Florentine jewels seduced passers-by with semi-precious stones and exquisite diamonds, a great feat, when you consider that these same shops were once occupied by butchers.
|Semi-precious and precious stones in one of the Ponte Vecchio jewelry shops|
|Gap Denim Fitted shirt, knitted shorts bought at Shopbop.com, Red Converse trainers, Bronze satchel bag as seen before|
Chanel’s window display was probably my favourite, a headpiece has given me the idea of turning a necklace into head decoration and I will be surely looking for a structured draped cream skirt that just screams class.
As my husband roamed around the narrow streets impatiently while I shopped, I couldn’t help but think that the fashion world had gone mad, we were barely 15 days into June which is still meteorologically considered spring, but there wasn’t a single shop carrying any summer clothes. Instead sun-hungry city dwellers and tourists were welcomed with stuffy and furry knits, coats and winter dresses. I can understand the need to sell 6 to 8 collections a year to keep the industry afloat but this is now a step too far, a leap into inconspicuous and irrational consumption.
Luckily shoes and accessories shops still had transitional pieces on offer. In true Olympic spirit my heart jumped for high-top wedge sneakers, taking last season’s Isabel Marant wedge sneakers from fad to cult status. Every Florentine regazza worth her “Bella Figura“ in gold, was sporting them: whether in colour-block suede or shiny metallic leather, these sneakers are the next best thing to city high-heels.
|Isabel Marant wedge sneakers and other non-branded Italian sneakers|
|Metallic Hogan Wedge Sneakers|
The Gallery Art hotel (owned by the Ferragamo family) was holding a photography exhibition of Marilyn Monroe and a display of the sparkly ruby shoes and bag which were especially made for her.
|Ferragamo’s custom made ruby shoes and bags for Marilyn Monroe|
Our Florentine Shopping List:
Buy wedge sneakers now and wear all the way through winter: