Mercato San Lorenzo leather market ★★★

A street in the outdoor market, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Florence, Italy (Photo by Sergio S.C.)
A street in the outdoor market

Florence's outdoor San Lorenzo leather market is a great place to bargain for a classic Florentine souvenir

A stall in the outdoor market selling leather handbags, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Jens Aarstein Holm)
A stall in the outdoor market selling shawls, scarves, and bracelets, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Kari)
A stall in the market selling leather belts, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Myra)
A stall in the outdoor market selling leather wallets and bags, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Jens Aarstein Holm)
A street in the outdoor market, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Timitrius)

Break out your haggling skills, the streets around San Lorenzo church are packed with stalls peddling knock-off Gucci scarves, souvenir T-shirts, marbleized paper products, jewelry, wallets, and especially leather—great place to shop for a leather jacket for yourself, and stock up on belts, purses, and wallets as gifts.

Many stalls are really just outposts for the stores behind them, and every owner seems to speak English better than you, so be ready for the hard sell.

(Actually, for most of the workers and, increasingly, the owners of the leather market stalls, it's Italian that is their third language, after English and whatever it was they grew up speaking—usually Albanian.)

Be firm, be patient, and you should be able to bargain your way down to a decent number and get the goods at a price you're willing to pay. You should be able to get a jacket for not much more than €100 ($118)–€150 ($177).

If nothing else, the market is a carnival of colors and noise and, so long as you watch out for pickpockets, can be a welcome, earthy break from all that art and a nice photo opportunity.

Photo gallery
  • A street in the outdoor market, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Italy (Photo by Sergio S.C.)
  • A stall in the outdoor market selling leather handbags, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Italy (Photo by Jens Aarstein Holm)
  • A stall in the outdoor market selling shawls, scarves, and bracelets, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Italy (Photo by Kari)
  • A stall in the market selling leather belts, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Italy (Photo by Myra)
  • A stall in the outdoor market selling leather wallets and bags, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Italy (Photo by Jens Aarstein Holm)
  • A street in the outdoor market, Mercato San Lorenzo leather market, Italy (Photo by Timitrius)

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Tips

How long does Mercato San Lorenzo take?

It's shopping, so take as long as you lke.

If you just want to wander through a bit and take some photos, set aside 15–25 minutes.

Beware of pickpockets

Seriously! Keep an eye on your belongings!

Bargain, bargain, bargain

This is one place where you can haggle even in the shops.