Where to shop leather in Florence
I still remember the leather jacket I bought on my very first visit to Florence as a study abroad student when I was just starting to fall in love with Italy. Every time I slipped on that jacket in the years to come, I would remember the magic of discovering Florence for the first time: turning a corner and being struck by the staggering beauty of the duomo, peeking through doorways into artisan workshops in the Oltrarno, ducking into the hushed quiet of a church and finding myself in front of some of the most beautiful paintings in the world.
I wore the dream of Italy every time I wore that jacket until I could make it a reality by moving here. I eventually worked my way up to becoming an official tour guide of Florence and while admiring the history and art of this incredible city, one thing almost every visitor I meet asks me is: where should I buy leather in Florence?
Florence is known around the world for the tradition and craftsmanship of its leather products. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect leather jacket, bag or pair of shoes that are made in Italy, then there are a lot of questions to answer before you get started, not least of which is where to shop.
The best part of leather shopping in Florence is the chance to meet artisans and craftsman in person who are eager to talk about their work and to seek out the workshops where you can see the assembly of these handmade pieces of art. We hope this guide will be the first stepping stone toward finding a keepsake that reminds you of Florence every time you pick it up but that is still uniquely “you.”
Outdoor Leather Markets in Florence
San Lorenzo Leather Market
Piazza del Mercato Centrale
You can’t miss a stroll through the historic San Lorenzo leather stalls that surrounds the Central produce market of this district. Here you can find everything leather from jackets to bags, belts, wallets and souvenirs. However, the sourcing and manufacture of these pieces can’t be guaranteed so I’d head here for when you want to find a lower priced leather item in Florence.
Mercato del Porcellino
Piazza del Mercato Nuovo
Another historic outdoor market, this 16th century loggia has sheltered everyone over the centuries from bankers to straw hat sellers and now it’s devoted to leather. You’ll find a lot of the same things as the San Lorenzo market (some literally identical) and it’s definitely aimed at tourists so I wouldn’t vouch for the full Italian authenticity of the items for sale here. If you’re looking for better deals that still offer that Florentine flair, head on over and make sure to give a good-luck pat on the nose to the bronze boar in the famous “Fontana del porcellino.”
Where to find the best Leather jackets (and more) in Florence
Scuola del Cuoio
Via San Giuseppe, 5R
The Leather school of Florence located in the Santa Croce complex (you can even access it from inside the church itself, but it also has a back entrance) was started in the 1950s as a way to help orphans of World War II learn a trade and earn a living. Today it is still run by the Gori family that founded it and one of the main attractions for me are the work stations where you can see craftsman putting together pieces right before your eyes.
They have bags, jackets, belts, coin purses, luggage tags, you name it. The price tag is high, but the looks are absolutely classic and mature and you’ll be taking a piece of Florentine history home with you.
As fits their tradition of teaching, they also offer 10-week long classes for those that want to become a professional leather worker as well as workshops that last from a week to just 3 hours. The prices are very steep, but you’ll leave with a better understanding of how to craft a piece as well as your own small leather keepsake made by you.
Via dei Calzaiuoli,78/r
Via della Vigna Nuova, 97-red
Relatively new on the scene and quickly becoming famous around the world, BenHeart has two locations in Florence and shops all over Italy (Rome, Milan, Lucca, the list goes on) and even Beverly hills. Obviously, this isn’t the place to get something you can only find in Florence, but they guarantee 100% made in Italy products. Jackets, bags, shoes, belts, wallets, options for men and women – they have it all and their products ooze cool.
Via della Vigna Nuova, 65
Katian has something for everyone whether you’re looking for something traditional or more edgy and young. The best part is meeting Daniel the designer and Caterina (who is also the model) in their shop. They will greet you with a warm welcome and help you find the perfect piece for you. You can really find something unique here designed by Daniel himself and they will tailer any piece for you.
Jennifer Tattanelli at Casini
Piazza de’ Pitti, 31
Classy and feminine, the supple jackets at Casini, designed by Jannifer Tattanelli are simply luscious and infused with romance. They also have chic classics for men. The designer was born in Florence to Italian and American parents and she now has shops on both sides of the Atlantic that testify to her own international style and past.
Where to get the best leather shoes for Men (and women)
Step aside ladies, finally, when it comes to shoes in Florence, men’s styles rule. There are simply too many beautiful leather shoe shopping places in Florence to choose from but here’s a short list to get you started.
Via dei Michelozzi, 17/R
Even if you aren’t going to buy anything, it’s worth it just to look into this shop and watch the magic of shoe making. They will also design a pair just for you that will really be a work of art.
Via San Niccolò, 2
Gorgeous shoes for men. You can even train here and learn how to make your own bespoke pair of shoes, just like Daniel Day Lewis did some years ago.
Via de’ Guicciardini, 16r
Classic Italian leather shoes for men and women in the Oltrarno in a cozy shop. The shop was started in 1953 and the tradition of designing elegant, classic shoes has been passed down from Master Calogero Mannina to his son Antonio just as the best artisan traditions are.
Via dei Calzaiuoli,78/r
Via della Vigna Nuova, 97-red
I’ve already mentioned them above for their jackets and accessories but their shoe collection for women and men are worth a second mention here.
Where to get the best leather bags in Florence
Via de’Ginori, 23r
Via de’Ginori, 23r
The name of the store is the address! Located right in the center of the city, not far from the San Lorenzo leather market, this is a family run leather shop that has soft, gorgeous bags at great prices. They have limited edition collections and collaborate with artisans throughout Tuscany.
Via della Chiesa, 21R
Brand new to the Florence leather scene, Frau Leman is also featured in the must-have Florence shopping app: “Creative People in Florence.” Sustainability is important to Stephanie, the founder of Frau Leman. She seeks out leather that has been cast off by high fashion houses who ordered in excess so that nothing goes to waste and she can guarantee Italian leather worked in Tuscan tanneries. She also specializes in making bags to order so you can write to her to talk about making the perfect bag for you. Be sure to check out their bucket bags, wallets and super cute keychains (I want the Moka one!).
Little bags with seriously high quality and unique style. Their leather and design are guaranteed to be from Italy and handmade in small quantities. They use the traditional vegetable tanning process and they use the cast of bits of leather from animals processed from the meat industry so no animal is killed just for its skin. The result of course is high costs but high quality products. At the moment, Digerolamo has moved from their shop to entirely online with shipping around the world.
Where to get the best leather gloves
Via de’ Guicciardini, 1/red
This shop, located right on the other side of Ponte Vecchio bridge is known as THE leather glove shop of Florence. They have been perfecting gloves for over a century. Their catchy window pops with color and their designs are unique and special. They also make the gloves on site in the shop!