I went into Florence last Saturday to do some research and shopping. My host told me about the Orto Botanical which is a botanical garden. This place was interesting in that they labeled everything in the gardens so I was able to put a name to face on some of the plants I have been working with here.
For shopping, I wanted to bring some things back that I hadn’t brought back when I was younger… and couldn’t afford… I did some research about gold before hand as my parents gave me some spending money for the trip and wanted to take a look and see if there was something I could afford. I read of a place called Oro Due “Firenze” that had decent prices and selections and it was near the bridge. But it ended up being too far for me since I stopped at a couple of places along the way, had lunch in San Macro Piazza and I ended up stopping by some stores along the way.
It started to pour while I was heading towards the other botanical garden my host recommended and decided to just hit the stores. I darted in and around the merchants trying to sell you umbrellas or ponchos (didn’t need one more thing to carry thank you very much and welcomed the cool rain) and darted into a store unknowingly that it was one I wanted to go to – Sigma … best known for the leather books and journals. I picked up and felt the journals available…. they were decent prices and some even discounted. When shopping I am cautious about the space in my luggage since I don’t have much left. Instead of a larger journal I had been fondling I took home a quill with the florentine fleur di lis on it in the turquoise color that is my home office color… and darted back out. On the way I had already stopped by Il Papiro a store of marbled paper made in Italy. I bought some clippings, a pencil holder and stickers with my initial on it.
On the way to Sigma, I passed a few gold shops and decided to poke my head in. A few were busy especially the ones that have been in existence for awhile. I spoke with a salesperson and he gave me some knowledge about buying gold in Italy. Unfortunately some of the styles that were available I didn’t particularly care for, as they didn’t look like you dropped 150 euros on it if you know what I mean… I appreciated the design but it was definitely a tourist trap as it had a reproduction of the florino (the coin of the florence empire) on it… a thin band for 150 euros!! No thanks. I found a design I liked in another shop, but it was a bit more than what I was willing to pay for and not to mention that rings have a higher potential to be lost…