Scams and Scammers

No matter where you go in the world, among all of the Lovely, Wonderful, Generous people, you will unfortunately find some scams, and scammers; or they will find you.
What is important is that we do not hand over our power to them, and allow them to ruin our experiences. They are an anomaly in the grand scheme of things. BUT, we can spread the word about these creeps, so that fewer people are affected by them.

A CRAZY example is in Milan. On the train to Milan we met an absolutely lovely woman, who gave us so much great advice about what to do in Milan. When she saw our luggage, even though the directions to our hotel said that it was only 500 meters from the train station she suggested we take a taxi. So we went to the taxi curb, and while we were waiting for a taxi to pull up, a man came up to us and asked us which hotel we were going to. I showed him the paper that had the name and address on it, and he said 5 Euros. What I did not notice at first, was that he had a plastic disposable cup in his hand with a drink in it. So, we said sure. 5 Euros for a taxi seemed like a fair price; remember we were standing at the taxi curb when we were approached…
He proceeded to put our luggage on a cart with wheels, all while trying to keep all of his drink in his cup (was guessing that it was rye and coke). He was not succeeding in that task, so he downed what was left in the cup, and then threw the cup on the ground.  As we started to walk with him, another guy with a cart not far from us called to us, “I would have taken you for 2 Euros” ???  Our escort proceeded to walk across the parking lot (I was thinking to myself, where in the world did this guy park, and great, we agreed to go with a). a guy that might be drunk, and b). a guy who is not an authorized taxi driver.) I asked, “Where is your car?” He just motioned to follow him.  We then crossed the street (still trying to identify which car was his), turned the corner (like the walking directions said to do), kept walking (OMG, this guy is WALKING us to our hotel!). I asked again, this time angrily, “Where is your car??” He motioned again to keep following him. Why? Because in only another 30 steps, was our HOTEL!  Now the 2 Euros from the other guy made sense! This guy wanted us to pay him 5 Euros to be walked to our hotel, which took us 3 minutes to walk to.In the end we did pay him, not without trying to barter, which he took no part in.  SCAMMER!


Florence is known for its leather goods, and when I first went to Florence in November, 2010 I was determined to buy an authentic Italian Leather jacket. This I did, but unfortunately for me, I chose to buy from one of the Biggest CREEPS, and LOW LIFES in all of Florence. There is Amazing leather in Florence, but DO NOT buy from these guys, or from their store. Here’s the scoop!

  The San Lorenzo Market has many vendors set up on this pedestrian street where they have on display many different things like scarves, trinkets, and of course leather goods.  For some vendors this is their store front, we discovered. As soon as we started to look at the leather jackets, they whisked us to their store, which is located directly behind their booth. Here they have a store of many more leather jackets of all sizes, colors and as we later discovered qualities.

I ended up buying a brownish coloured leather jacket that has a scoop type neck. They were definitely pushy, and really wanted us to buy  jackets. However, they did not try to suggest a different jacket than the one I was originally looking at.  Kathy bought a black leather, and suede jacket. This is the receipt for my jacket>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

       The picture you see to the left  is of the “Boss Man” that was at the store and authorized how much I paid for my jacket. He has a very distinct voice- very raspy, almost like he could  be losing his voice, but isn’t.

He was also at the store in April when I tried to exchange the jacket for one that was not damaged, and refused.


The pictures to the left are of the store, that we were whisked to, and where we made our final purchases. Please note, the address of this store. #14.

After buying my leather jacket, I did not wear it until I got home because it rained the last 2 days we were in Florence.  The first time I wore it, I happened to reach for something and then I heard a RIP…. The leather ripped at one of the seams in the back. Distraught, and very disappointed, I immediately went to see a man who has been working with leather for many years to see if he could fix my jacket. Basically what he told me was that the leather that my jacket was made from was CRAP. He then showed me how weak the leather was, and without even trying pulled at the leather and it ripped again, and again, and again. See the YouTube video for a demonstration with the actual jacket.

George told me to take it back to where I bought it but unfortunately I bought it in Italy, and I was now back in Canada.  How disappointing! I also felt like I had been scammed.

Luckily, another trip was planned for Kathy and I to go back to Italy, and we made a point to go back to Florence; and I was taking my jacket back. I was 100% certain that there would be NO issues in returning/ exchanging it.  Boy, was I wrong!

In April, 2011 I took the jacket back to the exact same store in Florence that I purchased it from. As soon as we entered the store, the man with the long hair (shown in the pictures) was with customers so we waited. When we got to talk to him, I showed him the jacket and told him that I would like a new one. He told me that he would get the boss. We waited, and waited, and waited. After waiting for far too long, and we were obviously being ignored I asked who I needed to talk to about the jacket. The long haired man told me that they would not do anything for me. I then raised my voice and raised my jacket so others could see that I had bought a leather jacket from this store and that it was ripped. Finally he took me seriously and sent someone to get ‘the boss man’.

The ‘boss man’ came into the store, and we told him that I had bought the jacket from him in November and that it ripped the first time I wore it. He said that it had been too long and that he would do nothing. I told him that I lived in Canada and could not just jump on a plane to return my jacket. He then told me to go to the tailors and have it fixed. I showed him where it was ripped and that nothing could be done to fix it, and also that I had taken it to a tailor in Canada and told him what he told me about the leather. I showed him how easily it rips. The ‘boss man’ then told me that I bought a cheap jacket. ?????? I told him in frustration that HE SOLD ME A CHEAP JACKET! And why would he sell something that he knew was not good? He told me that tourists come and want to buy for cheap prices, and not care about the quality and he would not give me my money back. I told him that I would happily exchange it for one of better quality and would pay the difference. He said no. After going back and forth, he walked away from me, but not after telling me that by law he did not have to refund me the money after a certain amount of time, and that it was past the time limit that I needed to bring it back, and he did not have to do anything for me. I told him that I would stand here and tell everyone about his leather. He said, “whatever.” and walked away.

So, as people came into the store I started showing people the jacket and how poor the leather was. This angered the long haired man, and he told me to F*** OFF!   I told him that I just wanted some service. He was VERY rude, and in one sentence told me that I should have come from Canada sooner to return my jacket if it was ripped, and then in the next asked how I could all the way from Canada to return my jacket. He was not making sense.

At one point another tourist spoke up to the long haired man in support of me (she was there to buy a leather jacket as she had been there earlier, and after witnessing my situation left without purchasing anything). During the 20ish minutes I was there standing and waiting for them to change their minds, and let me exchange my jacket, they lost at least 3 customers who were serious about buying something earlier.  They were NOT happy!

The ‘boss man’ was summoned again and he told me to leave or he would call the police. I told him that I would LOVE to speak with the police. Of course he didn’t call them. I was exhausted from this drama, and decided that this was not going to ruin my holiday, but that I was going to reclaim my power.

What I did next was tell him that I would let EVERYONE know about them, and that his Karma was going to Suck. I then took all of the pictures you see here on my blog, including the classy picture of the long haired man giving me the finger. I did not have this blog before I left, but on the way home decided that this was going to be how I spread the word about this guy, in addition to all of the GREATNESS that is on this blog too…

All I ask is that you look at these pictures, and let everyone you know about this store, and my experience with this store. I know that I will not get my 110Euros back, but I look at this as an investment in the fact that others hopefully will not be scammed by these guys!

Remember these faces, and remember this story.  I am not saying that they do not sell good quality leather. I am only sharing MY experience with them, and that I DO NOT want anyone else to experience what I did, or at the least get ripped off by them. Please share this story with others, whether they are going to Florence or not, as they may know of someone that is.

PLEASE buy leather in Florence, just know how to spot bad quality leather! Watch my Youtube video for more information on how to spot bad leather.


I returned to Florence in September, 2016 and went to the San Lorenzo Market. My stomach was in knots as I came to store #14.  The “boss man” was not there, but the guy with the long hair, pictured giving me the middle finger was.  I tried to quietly walk by as I heard a male voice call, “YOU HOO, YOU HOO!” I continued walking, but heard it again. I stopped and looked back and discovered that the man was trying to get my attention.  He proceeded to say something rude to me, that I was ignoring him, and that he knew who I was. I honestly blanked out the rest as he was being rude and condescending, and I could not get out of this market fast enough.  I was visibly shaking!  I will NEVER visit the San Lorenzo market again! There is something about it there, that a lot of the vendors there are pushier, ruder, and dishonest than any others I have come across in the rest of Florence. I had a bad vibe the whole time we were there.

Where do I recommend you buy leather? Click HERE to read my story about a store that has some AMAZING leather and people!



77 thoughts on “Scams and Scammers

  1. Imagine buying a leather jacket at the San Lorenzo market! It is the cheapest tat there is. As anyone can point out you even by looking at the photos you published………….. How can you have expected quality when you buy Chinese rubbish?

    • Ciao! I wish I had done some research before I went to Italy the first time, and unfortunately I ASSUMED (I never should have done that) that when you buy leather in Italy, that you are buying Italian leather, which I thought was ALL good quality. Unfortunately for me, I was unaware of the ‘china factor’ to look for when buying leather in Italy. Live and learn. I really want others to know of this problem, and know what to look out for.
      It sounds like you might have some knowledge on this subject, so I would like to know if you have any recommendations, or advice for those that read my blog. Your help is greatly appreciated! Grazie Mille!

    • Watch your language. China makes good stuff too if you are willing to spend your $$. For example the traditional Chinese alcohol that costs $1000+!
      Western business ppl are too cheap to pay Chinese manufactures enough money to make good quality goods! If you pay crap you get crap, understand?

      • I completely agree with your comment that China makes good stuff too. Unfortunately some western companies prey on some people in China, and other Asian countries to make their goods for a price that for a very low price of labour, hence the quality can suffer. However, that is a whole different issue from what I am trying to warn people about.
        My point is that if you are in Italy to buy an Italian leather jacket, like I was, then know what and what not to look for.
        The key is definitely you get what you pay for. Lesson learned for me, hopefully so that others will not have to learn the same lesson I did.

      • I have yet to run into good quality Chinese merchandise. Maybe it is available in China (some day I hope to visit), but everything I have bought in the U.S. has been of poor quality. Unfortunately, in many instances there is no choice – you have to buy Chinese merchandise as their cheap prices have driven out all other manufacturers

      • Unfortunately the conversation has led to discussing the quality of made in China products.
        My point was that when I went to Italy, I was expecting to get an Italian made leather jacket, and did not realize that I had to be more careful. From my experience, I wanted to let others know that all leather is not made in Italy and if you want Italian leather, to be mindful of where it is made, and manufactured.

  2. I live here in Florence and also happen to work in the San Lorenzo market (not selling leather jackets). I work with visitors to our fine city on a regular basis and try to inform them as much as possible when they inquire about buying leather in Florence.
    I appreciate your blog post warning people about the shady dealings of some vendors in the market as they are the ones who hurt our reputation and put people in bad moods as they make their way through the market. Thank you for mentioning that it is not necessarily poor quality goods but a bad experience that was had. I know plenty of great people that happen to work selling leather and they are not all scum =) (I also know those two fellows who you dealt with and can vouch for your feelings toward the “boss man” especially).
    I am really sorry you had a bad experience in the market. The San Lorenzo market is a big part of my life and for my part, I try to make as many people’s experience there a great one as possible.

    • Ciao!
      Grazie for your comment! I LOVE Florence, and also LOVE shopping in Florence! I agree that for as many scummy guys that are there, including “the boss man”, there are even more honest vendors in Florence with quality goods to sell. I Absolutely encourage people to understand the difference before they make the mistakes I made. I am excited to go back and buy quality leather from quality people like yourself.
      Blessings, Trina

    • Hi,

      My wife and I just returned from Florence June 30, 2012 and had a similar scam with another store a couple of shops down called PARSA. The owner sold my wife 2 lovely leather coats and me 1 and suggested that we would want to have them couriered home to avoid additional customs etc. Sounds good right?? Well 2 weeks later and no sign of the coats… Now would this be happening in Canada? I think not.

      • Hi David,
        That is too bad. Probably a silly question, but did you get their contact information to get the tracking information for your jackets?
        I understand the frustration you are feeling right now. It really puts a damper on the lovely experiences one had in Italy when things like this happen.
        I am hoping that if enough of us share their bad experiences, that it will eventually scare those scammers from thinking they will get away with their poor behaviour.
        Thanks for sharing!

      • Hello David,

        My husband and I purchased leather jackets from PARSA July 9, 2012. Yes, they offered us a great 50% discount and the jackets were going to be shipped to our home in PA. Unfortunately, almost two months later and we still don’t have any jackets. Family members purchased beautiful jackets from the store and took them home. I wish we would have done the same. One good thing is that we put the jackets on our credit card and have advised the charge is in dispute.

        This is sad. The man seemed so honest and knew various areas near our home town. He even said he attended Temple University in Philadelphia.

        Well, we won’t be getting our jackets, but won’t be paying for them either. PARSA will not be getting any business from people I know. I will make it a point to tell people to be extra cautious when buying leather in Italy. – A very sad ending to a great vacation! – Maggie

      • Maggie, that is unfortunate about your jackets. I am glad however that you paid on your credit card. Thank goodness for that!
        I am happy to pass along your story to warn others about this dishonest store. Let’s hope that by sharing these stories that the dishonest businesses decide to make better choices. Here’s to using the internet to pursue goodness in people!

      • We fell victim to Parsa July 4th, 2013. It seems this guy has lived everywhere! Said his wife lived in Calabasas, California. Bought four jackets, took two with us, the other two were to be shipped – have not come.

      • I am sorry to hear about your experience. I am hoping that you made the purchase on your credit card. If so, make sure you contact them ASAP to report it.
        Thank you for your post. Trina

      • I am in Florence and researching buying leather office bag or jacket. I see that the “PARSA” guys are taking everybody’s money and not sending them the merchandise. Do you have your receipt details or anything? I am more than happy to go and check them out. (ask what is going on…)

        Sam from New York.

      • As nice as your offer is Sam, to do this, I think that your efforts would be a waste of time.
        It is apparent that this specific store trends to this behavior of taking money and not delivering merchandise to many customers.
        From my experience of revisiting the same store months later to exchange my jacket was out of the ordinary. Really, how many tourists go back to Italy within months to hold them accountable? Not many. I was shocked to their lack of customer service.
        But Karma followed them, as it will for Parma.

  3. this looks like the same store I stopped in but, fortunately, did not buy from them – thank you for posting. Susan in CA

  4. I have heard this story many times! My best friend bought 3 leather jackets from San Lorenzo against my advice…..same story: ripped, dye ran onto clothing when it got wet, etc. I have a personal shopping tour in Florence, and take clients to the shops I love with beautiful authentic items at reasonable prices. You can see my information on wordpress too! My website is Next time you are in Florence, look me up and we can have a glass of wine!

    • Ciao Maren!
      Iam happy that you found my blog and Iam please to have someone to direct fellow tourists to to help with our shopping’needs’ in Florence.
      I will be back in florence hoin the near future, and I would Love to have a glass of vino with you!
      Happy new Year!

  5. I am in research mode as my friend went to Spain and had similar experience. I am going to Greece, Italy and Turkey next May. I lived in Italy for 6 months when I was 16. I bought beautiful shoes of very soft leather. I would love to know more tips on spotting good leather vs bad.

    • My best advice is to buy from reputable stores, and not street vendors. I am sorry if I am offending anyone by stating this but it was my bad experience, and I have read online that may more have sad a similar experience.
      Watch my Youtube video and see how I show to test the leather by pulling on it If the store keeper does not want you to do this, then they are not confidant in the quality of their leather, and move on..
      Also check out positive reviews of stores that people had good experiences at, and you should be Ok along with the leather test also.
      I hope this helps!
      Ciao! Trina

  6. I would like to know if any of the jackets paid for in the Parsa leathershop in Florence on promise of shipping ever actually turned up? I too made the mistake of paying for a made-to-measure jacket – only, five weeks later, to have received nothing. Plan to try calling the shop at the end of this week but don’t hold out hope. Luckily too I paid on my credit card and will probably be opening a claim! Julie – UK

    • I have not heard from David if he ended up receiving his leather coats. Sorry.
      I would contact your credit card company ASAP as Parsa will have to provide proof of delivery. And if anything they will either get your money back or the shipping information.
      Good luck and please let me know what happens.

  7. Hi Trina – ah shame, would have been interesting to hear what happened. I did get through to the shop by phone and in fact spoke to the guy who took my measurements etc. He said ‘yes, yes, despatch next week’. So I will give the shop two more weeks but if nothing by then, will go to the credit card company (and thank goodness for being able to do that!). Will certainly message with what happens 🙂

  8. Hi Trina – an update on the above scenario (ie leather jacket order from Parsa Leatherwear in Florence, Italy) – it is now 23rd Jan (3 months since original purchase date) and I have not received any jacket. My claim has gone in to the credit card company, and my account has been credited with the value that I paid for the jacket. That money can only be removed now if Parsa successfully contest the claim by supplying proof of postage, which they won’t be able to because they haven’t posted anything. My lesson learned is to never leave a country unless goods you have purchased and paid for are packed safely in your bag! And God bless credit card insurance!

    • Hello Julie…I just read your post about Parsa..I was in Florence in May and bought a jacket from them..they said three weeks and they will send jacket to that I read your post I am worried. Did you ever get your jacket?

      • Hi Mona, I haven’t heard back from Julie to find out if she ever got her purchase from Parsa. I hope to hear back from her and promise to post her update if I get one. Trina

  9. Thank God I found your YouTube and blog. Am going to Italy in 2 weeks time and will pass Florence as part of my tour. I want to buy good quality leather jacket but confused as some friends advise to buy at market but some say to buy at quality shops which essentially mean more $$ for the latter one. Thank u for the tips Above. Did u eventually buy any leather jacket in ur subsequent visit?

    • I am so envious that you are going in 2 weeks… The weather will be lovely!
      My best advice is you get what you pay for, make sure the shop is reputable, and check the leather as I showed in my YouTube video. This advice will serve you well no matter where you are in Italy. There may be reputable shops in the San Lorenzo market, but unfortunately there are more non reputable ones than good. Go to Trip Advisor and search “where to buy good leather in Florence”. You can then plan to visit those specific shops around your touring.
      Also read the other comments on this page as a couple other shops were named as being not good shops also.
      Enjoy La Dolce Vita in Bella Italy!

  10. We are heading to Florence to buy jackets. We have your advice and their faces ingrained in our minds. Thanks for the advise.

  11. I had a similar experience w Parsa. My jacket was supposed to be available for pick up the next day but was not ready. Promised shipment to my home within week. Jacket has not arrived so I am disputing the charge on my card. Hopefully Bank of America and visa will stick it to these crooks. They give honest merchants a bad name.

    • Hi Jen. I agree that the bad merchants make it difficult for the good ones, especially in the markets. That is why it is good to know who the ‘bad guys’ are. I hope all works out for you with your purchase. A good reason to make larger purchases on our credit cards. Thanks for you comment! Trina

  12. Hi,
    I purchased a leather jacket from San Lorenzo – a shop called Sabrina Leather – unfortunately I had the leather checked out by my friend who has told me the leather is fake. I am so disappointed as I won’t be able to travel back to Florence and feel let down as I believed that the staff at Sabrina leather were genuine. It was my main reason to visit Florence. It leaves a wrong impression of a beautiful city.
    A duped Aussie

    • Ciao Jan! I am sorry to hear about your experience at Sabrina Leather. It really sucks do be duped; trust me I know.
      However remember that Florence remains beautiful despite this experience; trust me I know this also. When I returned after my ‘duping’ experience I had my eyes even more open- for the good and the bad. I had a better time than my first visit as a result.
      Wear your jacket as a reminder of the good you liked about Florence- at least it is not ripped and unwearable.
      Thank you for sharing your experience at Sabrina leather at the San Lorenzo Market! You have helped other tourists! Buyers Beware!!!!!

  13. Sorry for all those comments bellow i was reading.i work in leather market from last 17 years in sales and as a responsible, but all my 17 years of my work hard,few times it happened that something goes wrong with the jacket,it happens,but i did changed for those clients without any problem.
    In few words i would say that,i am sorry if some shop keepers are not changing the jackets.
    Sometime people from teneries ,they sale to factory people a mix Leather,which get burn with the temperature,and what happens,in factories they are busy with making,without knowing that in the middle there is some pieces which is not good.
    17 years of my life in Leather Fashion,i loved my Job and i always tried to Make clients for tomorrow,and even today there is many they come by reference to me. I don’t know which is Parsa shop,and i really don’t wanna know, what i did always just not to have Burden on me,i always gave Advice to My clients to walk 5 mins towards post office.
    I have to tell you all that the man you put the Foto (the Boss) he DIED in 2011,and this Guy was just a puppet there with his Salesmen ,everything was in a hands of his Wife.
    Three years i worked in a centre also,but San Lorenzo market have his own attraction & Beauty,270 years old market.
    I traveled many countries and now Finally i Planed to Do My Own Shop,and its A Month that i do my own Leather Shop in San Lorenzo Market,
    We have many students traveling & studying in Italy,i worked with then a lot,its like a chain,they send friends and others too.
    But again I have to Write here for you all that (ALL FINGERS ARE NOT THE SAME) i Love my Profession,and sorry to those with whom these tragedy happened.

    • Ciao Jim! Grazie for your comments. It is nice to hear from a vendor in Florence that sells leather. I have intentionally tried to advise people that their bad experiences are just that- a bad experience with someone bad. There are many good vendors in Florence, and I encourage people to shop and buy, but to be educated and not naive about the products they are buying.
      I was very naive my first trip to Italy. I learned from that experience, and still remain in LOVE with Italy and Italians. I am just smarter about how and what to shop for.
      Good luck to you in your new shop!

  14. OMG!!! I hd bought the Leather coat from PARSA on 30th october13, due to the sleeve was too long for me the man call Alax said he fix it then shipping to me to UK he said it only take 2or3 weeks ,but now is almost 4 weeks still nothing, most upset is l put Cash€380.00 I thank this was big SCam. Dont know what cud i do now….can any one help?

    • I am sorry that this happened to you. The only guarantee to get money back in this case is when the merchandise was paid for with a credit card.
      You can try emailing and calling the store multiple times.
      Good luck!

  15. What did You Expect from 110 euro leather jacket , com’on !?!?
    i’ll tell you more , the guy with the glasses died one year after , but the handsome tall one is still there .

    • What I did expect and still expect regardless of how much one pays for an item is good and honest customer service.
      There was not one instant that they tried to up sell me to a more expensive jacket or to inform me that I could get a much better jacket for more money.
      This is one of the things that I want people to know and understand when looking for leather in Italy, is to know quality is something you have to look for.
      I also expected that when I showed up again with the ripped jacket, that they would have exchanged it for something else. I was not expecting too much, but they were extremely rude and mean.

    • It don’t matter how much one pays, a hundread plus Euros is money from this woman’s pocket. They shouldn’t be selling ANY leather that rips when gently pulled. Sorry but Parsa and other shops/ stalls there are dishonest conmen. Rule is, don’t buy from that market. Simple. i wouldn’t buy from that market at all after seeing this ladies video. I know leather quality, not everyone does. They should’ve exchanged this ladies jacket. If i go by that store I would love to burn it down!!! As for the shop saying they will ship the jackets, and no sign of people getting their jackets delivered! what a nasty thief. Karma, don’t underestimate KARMA!! Not everyone in Italy is a scam artists, but sorry to say, be careful visitors. I will be sharing about this market and in general in buying leather in Italy on twitter.

  16. looking at the pictures again make really clear that the responsible for this episode is only you , i’m sorry for you and this awful experience but in this market with all the competition between the stores , is harder to find the bad products , congratulations you have skills !!!

  17. Oh wow, I went into that exact shop recently looking for a jacket and worked with the long haired man from your photos, but I didn’t love the price and left. You make a good point about the credit card, because he said he could get the price lower if I paid in cash. I am glad I saw the youtube post!

  18. hi im alex
    ive been purchasing leather from florence since so many years and i would recomend you guys


    • Yes I agree! Best service and price for an amazing leather jacket. I used to live in Florence and this is the best place in the city to get a leather jacket!

  19. I bought a jacket from SLM in 2011. I don’t remember the shop name, but I paid about the same amount. Like your jacket, mine looks nice, but also like your jacket, it’s not good quality. I was never hassled though and can still wear my cheapo jacket.

    In two days I’m going on a trip where I will chaperone a community group of to Europe and we are going to be in Florence for three days. I am asking all the members to read your blog so they will be careful in the SLM as I’m sure we will go there since we are staying very close to it. But I’ve learned my lesson and will be visiting Davide Cerasi’s leather shop to buy a quality tailored coat. You only live once, right?

    Thanks for this.

    • Ciao Dave. Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate you passing along my blog to your fellow travelers. With knowledge comes the power to understand good and bad choices when buying leather.
      Have an Amazing trip! Trina

  20. Ciao, I currently live in Italy and have bought a ton of goods from the long haired dude. Buyer must be aware of quality leather. If you don’t know how to buy leather you will be buying cheap leather. It is not a scam, it is selling cheap leather. My wife and I have bought quality, thick leather from this shop. You have to know what to ask for. I would agree you had a bad experience but it was not a scam. You bought it and tried to get it exchange almost a year later…did you really expect them to go for that. I would warn tourist to know what quality leather looks like before you buy. Sorry, you had a bad experience but we have had 4 great experiences there. Just saying…

    • Ciao! Yes one of the reasons for writing about the horrible experience I had with this store was to tell tourists that you must know and understand leather before buying it in Italy. However, the “typical” person sees Italian Leather and assumes that it is all good. That was my first mistake.
      My second one was to yes, expect him to exchange the jacket when I returned. It was only less than 5 months from the time I purchased it. In Canada and the U.S. if you buy something and it is damaged in that short amount of time, most stores have good customer service and will do what they can to make things right- NOT tell the customer (me) to F*** OFF!
      Had he tried to up-sell me to a more expensive jacket when I purchased the bad one, then fine, BUT he did not! He wanted to take my money and run as fast as he could. How many tourists return in a short amount of time with the consequence of selling such CHEAP junk? Probably 1% or lower.
      I stand firm with my recommendation to NOT buy from this store- not simply for selling bad leather along side better leather, BUT for being JERKS.
      Just saying….

    • Your opinion and comments are WRONG. They shouldn’t be selling leather that rips when you reach for something. 100 plus euros is a rip off. The sellers there are scammers. Common conmen. This lady lives abroad. You people make me laugh. I’m Italian & hate to see this stuff happening. Be nice and have a heart. It don’t cost a penny to be honest!!! 🙃

      • What you pay this what you get i bought a jacket from this llong hair guy and i paid the right price for right jacket so you have to tell him how much you wanted to spend so he can show you the right thing on your pocket value so dont blame him for something which is not true
        Now im his regular client and i never have any complains about his product because i pay for quality

      • You NEED to read my post again, as you did NOT get the intention of my message. The Customer Service was HORRIBLE and non existent! It was NOT even an option for me to buy a good quality jacket when I tried to return the bad leather. I did NOT know any better with the first jacket and they did not even try to show me the difference in leathers or quality.
        I want tourists to know the difference between good and bad leather, and the reputable stores will NOT sell anything of poor quality. Period! These are the stores and entrepreneurs that need to be supported.

    • I would not feel that I have that advice to give you. However, if you know what you are shopping for, and understand the qualities available- good and bad, you should find a good vendor no matter where you go.
      If you read some of the comments below you will find some recommendations from some of my readers.
      Also go to TripAdvisor as there are many suggestions there.
      Happy Travels! Trina

  21. I too have had a bad experience with Parsa. I went into the shop, and tried on a jacket and asked them to courier it home. (NZ). I could have taken it, but decided it would be easier to send it as I would not be wearing it. No jacket!!!!! i am really kicking my self, adn am now worrying if it were to turn up would it be the orginal jacket anyway As least I know what its not here. Wish I had checked here before buying it.
    Still love Florence tho…

    • ABSOLUTELY! I also still LOVE Florence- how can you not? The actions of 1 do not taint a whole city.
      I am hoping that you paid on credit card as if you did you need to contact your credit card company and they will most likely credit you back and investigate this purchase. If you paid cash then this is a very unfortunate lesson when buying anything to be later shipped; always pay on credit card.
      Grazie for your comment! And good luck! Trina

  22. If you bought it with a credit card report it to the company. We did and it resulted in a credit for our missing coats and eventually one of two coats arrived. The credit card company had great difficulty in reaching Parsa, but at least took the issue out of our hands. Sorry for your experience. We, too, wished we had been able to vet Parsa on the internet.

  23. Can I respectfully suggest the leather goods shop attached to the Santa Crocce Leather School, adjoining the church (and presumably endorsed by the Almighty).

  24. Choosing a souvenir statue was easy, and after hearing “shipping and insurance included” we agreed to buy
    paying $1647.89 then we arraigned
    delayed shipping so we would be home to receive it after our trip. Before we got home we had calls stating attempted delivery had been made three times- we had to travel again to pick it up and upon opening the box
    Surprise! Pieces of statue! Immediately we called and were told “things happen” in shipping and all would be taken care of. Now it’s been three months and Alesio will not return texts or answer calls. BUYERS BEWARE !!!
    Michelangelo Souvenirs , first battle over- war just beginning.

    • I am sorry for your bad experience with shipping from Italy during your trip. Good luck with your battle. I hope that you paid with credit card, as you can take advantage of the insurance through your credit card company.

  25. Thank you for the information. I was just in florence looking for a jacket and came accross the store. I think they may have rebranded themselves as Jimmy’s leather.

    • Ciao Jennie! Thank you for the information. I will be back at the market in a short time. I will also be giving an update on the business.
      That said, I hope that you learned a bit about how to identify good and bad leather from my story.

      • Hi, looking from your photos this isn’t Jimmy’s store. Jimmy has quite a long hallway that leads to a back end and I’ve only had the absolute best experience with them.
        When I took my jacket in for a repair (they gave me the best repair price I have heard) they even lent me one of their new jackets to wear to a lunch as it was freezing outside! Honestly the best leather jackets as well, I believe that Jimmy’s would put your trust back into the San Lorenzo leather market!

      • As with purchasing leather from any store- know the difference between good and bad leather! And if you are shipping then put it on credit card as that is if it doesn’t arrive YOU need to follow up and can get a refund through your credit card company.
        Thanks for your comments!

      • Thanks for your comment to confirm that the store, Jimmy’s Leather is a good store. I also looked on Google Maps, and this is not the same area as where I was scammed. The area where it is easy to get scammed is very obvious as the vendors have displays set up in the street in front of their stores and MOST of the guys there are EXTREMELY rude and pushy! I was just there again not long ago and I felt extremely uncomfortable.
        You will not feel uncomfortable if you are in a good area where there are decent and honest people.

  26. Hello, i stumbled upon this blog, and just wanted to say, in case someone was looking for good quality leather jackets, I recommend you to check out the Conte Max store. I bought a thick horsehide leather jacket in grey colour for 90€ (after 15 minutes of “hard fought” haggling), almost 4 years ago. I was later told that it couldn’t have been real leather for that price, so i took the jacket to a leather goods store in my town, they ripped a little bit of lining and confirmed it was 100% genuine leather. It is still going strong even today, and i wore it in all kinds of weather.
    Good day to everyone,

  27. Ebay seems to have become China-Bay and people from China even get lower postal cost to post thing from China than we end up paying to post something up the road.

    Facebook has become full of scammers and i was ripped off buying items sold by “Peachy Lemon” from someone calling themselves Toni Pebbles from Stevenage so I will stick with ebay from now on because at least you can leave them bad feedback and get paypal to pay up if it turns out to be a scam

  28. Thank you so much for you post! I read it and made it me realized that I needed to do more research on leather quality if am dropping alot of money on a bag.. I watched alot of videos and even took a 30min leather class at a leather factory in Florence on how to tell a fake from real.After roaming all over Florence in and out of shops and stalls I got frustrated as i didn’t want to buy any of those bags in the stalls and I don’t want to go home empty handed. As I was looking forward in buying a real nice leather bag as a gift to myself. I ended up google searching the best leather shop in Florence, and Michelangelo Florentine Leather popped up. The shop had great reviews and was recommended by tripadvisor and Rick Steves. The owner Michelangelo Lapo was really nice and is the designer of all his bags. I was so happy to finally step into a real leather shop and I asked all the right questions and Michelangelo was really helpful and I felt like he was honest with his bags. I bought home 2 beautiful bags . He also gave me his business card and to email him if I ever want a bag made for me. The next time you are in Florence you should definitely check out his shop. He sells bags, wallets and jackets and I have to say they are all good. I felt the jackets while I was there and if I had more money to budget I would have bought one.



    • It sounds like you did all of the right things to be able to go home with some beautiful pieces! It was my goal when starting my blog to help people to empower themselves and not be had while being a tourist.

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