Our 6th city of Europe tour was Florence. Florence is an art and historical city. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. The family Medici came from here, who supported the style Renaissance in 14th century. Thanks to Beatrice of Aragon, the style was introduced to Hungary during the reign of King Matthias. Besides, many artist’s masterpiece can be found here. David of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings can all be seen in museums here. Florence also plays an important part of Italian fashion. There is even a leather street market here.
We arrived to Villa Constanza T1 at noon by Flixbus and where we arrived was in the middle of green grass and mountains. It was so beautiful that I already fell in love with the city. We arrived to our apartment where the host welcomed us. It was already different from Rome. There weren’t too many people. So I could breath. We did shopping and bought some food to cook them. We ended up eating sushi box that cost 15 EUR. In Rome it only cost around 5 EUR.
I checked the famous tourist attractions on phone and marked the places on the map. Then we went on sightseeing. We walked around the city as everything was in walking distance. We walked along the river Arno. The sun was very strong and the heat wasn’t a joke. We visited the Pitti Palace then walked through the Ponte Vecchio, the shopping bridge. We walked to Piazza della Signoria, a square where you can see Loggia dei Lanzi which functions as an open-air sculpture gallery and Palazzo Vecchio. In front of the palace was the statue of David. My aunt wanted to see the fountain, but it was under construction.
We went to Piazza del Duomo to see the cathedrale. The colour and the style was really unique. We walked to Piazza San Lorenzo, where we accidentally saw street market. I looked at the market and I knew it was a place where we could bargain. We looked at the authentic Italian leather bags that my aunt liked so we asked for the price and tried to bargain. We didn’t buy anything though.
We started to go home, but on the way home my nephew wanted to eat ramen noodle in Japanese restaurant. So we stopped there. I saw him eating and I also wanted to eat some noodle soup. I ordered udon. But the moment they brought it out my nephew already finished his food. I also didn’t have appetite since it turned out it wasn’t noodle soup only fried udon with a lot of sauce. I asked to take it home.
It already got dark so we watched the cathedrale in its light. But the cathedrale itself didn’t have any lights, only the lamp from another building lit on the cathedrale. The cathedrale was amazing. I think it is a really creative way to light a building. We walked back along the river. The weather cooled down a lot, and the view was simple. In that simplicity you can find its own beauty. We ended our day.
The next day we went to Pisa and Cinque Terre. It was a real adventure full of stress, but I will write about this in details in the next post.
On 24th we didn’t go anywhere. We slept until whenever we wanted and stayed at home during the daytime. Around 4pm we left the house. My mum couldn’t go more so she stayed at home. I told my nephew to take the map and show us the road. We wanted to go to Uffizi museum to see the paintings, but the line was so long. We also thought about going to Galleria dell’Accademia to see the real statue of David, but we didn’t make it.
So in the end we only went back to the street market in San Lorenzo to buy bags. My aunt bargained and my nephew translated for her. We spent probably 2 hours to bargain and to buy 4 real leather bags for 95 EUR. We stayed until the market closed at 7pm. We arrived home and then went shopping to make dinner. My aunt made the dinner.
In the morning of our last day we went back to the market. My aunt bargained to buy 17 scarfs for 110 EUR and 3 bags for 42 EUR. We had to hurry home as it was time to check-out. The owner also came. We got our stuff and left the house for the train station Firenze SMN. We still had 2 hours until the train left. I didn’t like the colour of the bag I bought so I walked back to the market to buy another one. I found a really good coloured bag with the same style and bought it for 35 EUR.
The train came 10 minutes before departures. We got on the train and went to Venice.
Tips for bargaining
When you are in street market, know that you have to bargain, otherwise you buy them for a much more expensive price. For example the bag I have was priced for 85 EUR, however I bought it for 35 EUR. I bet I could even buy them for lower price.
Bargaining requires a lot of time if you want to buy a product with your desired price. It took 1 hour for my aunt to reduce the price of a scarf from 12 EUR to 6 EUR.
Stay determinated with your price!
When you tell them a lower price, they will refuse it and try to keep their price no matter what you say. Don’t fall for it! If they don’t agree with the price you said, leave! When you leave they will agree to your price right away. They need to sell their products so they will keep you.
There is no room for emotion when you bargain. The sellers will attack your feelings, by proving how cheap and good quality the bag is and how well it suits you etc. Don’t fall for it! You can probably buy the same bag at another seller with different price. So if you don’t like the price, leave the shop. The seller will try to hold you back and beg to make you feel sorry. If you want to buy cheap, stay determinated with your price, if they don’t agree then leave!
Buy a lot at a same shop!
The more you buy the more you can bargain. Buy them in bunks. For example a scarf is sold for 12 EUR. But we bought 12 scarfs for 70 EUR. That means we paid 6 EUR for each. And then from the total price we asked to reduced it by 2 EUR.
Once you bought a product, you can’t bargain for the next one!
I bought a bag for 35 EUR. Then the seller asked if I wanted another one. I said: “Yes, but I will pay 50 EUR for both in total.” That means the next one would be purchased for 15 EUR. The seller didn’t agree. He would sell the next one for 30 EUR. I realized once I bought a bag I can’t bargain the next one for much cheaper price. So if you want to buy a lot of product, buy them at the same time and pay for all at once. Once you bought one, you can’t bargain for another one again.
Don’t exchange the product in the morning!
If you bought one, and realize you don’t like it, bring it back and exchange the same day. If you bring it back the other day, you can change the product for another one, but you also have to pay more. I wanted to exchange the first bag, but I could only do so for extra 2 EUR.
But buy product in the early morning!
When the sellers open their business, that’s the best time to bargain. Everyone wants to sell their products the earliest so to have luck for the whole day. So they will definitely appreciate every customer and give them a good discount. If you bargain in the early morning, you will mostly succeed easily.
Money is important, so the humankind. Bargaining can also be done politely. If you are polite and smile a lot, they will grow to like you and will give you discount easily. So be kind, polite to them and smile a lot. They are also people who earn their living.
The sellers are also polite and they will introduce their products to you when you walk. They will talk to you and make you see and try their products so to make you buy them. If you don’t want to buy, don’t buy. Remember there is no emotion when there is money. But there is politeness and respect. So if you don’t want to buy, refuse them nicely.
Florence tourist attractions: https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/florence-i-to-f.htm
Florence tourist map: http://www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/1935.pdf
Few more tips to visit Florence: http://www.goinspired.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Must-Have-guide-to-Florence-www.goinspired.com_.pdf
Accommodation: https://www.booking.com/s/11_6/43c5848d (If you use this link to book your hotel, I get US$15 which I use to support my blog and you get 10% back from your booking)