For all the romantic talk of the Renaissance’s permanent grip on Florence and the unchanging nature of the Florentine “essence,” the historic center sees a revolving door of shops and restaurants open and close. It takes more than business acumen to keep an enterprise alive downtown. You need at least one of the following: a) a product of exceptional quality and b) a hospitable attitude toward customers.
And if you have both? Well, you’re probably Maledetti Toscani.
A leather goods operation founded in Montepulciano, Maledetti Toscani stocks a range of men’s and women’s shoes, jackets, bags, wallets, belts and more. With their inventive—never “trendy”—twists on classic models, they nearly had a monopoly on the Montepulciano market; in Florence, however, leather shops are a dime a dozen. So what sets them apart?
The Florentine got a taste of it on a recent visit with Alessio, the face of the Florence shop, who offered us coffee and cookies upon arrival. We jotted down notes as he described how the fine craftsmanship of the products—and the all-around in-store experience—keeps customers coming back.
As if on cue, vacationing German couple Ollie and Julia walked in, greeting Alessio like an old friend. We assure you, it was unplanned.
Ollie had been on the phone with the credit card company because his had been blocked; with the problem supposedly resolved, he said, he’d “just have to buy something to see if it was working properly”. Cue laughter all around.
Julia and Ollie first discovered Maledetti Toscani in Montepulciano through Sharon, its manager and Alessio’s sister. Wandering around Florence in the recent past, they discovered the second location—much to their delight.
Watching the shop owner-customer relationship play out before our eyes was proof enough that Maledetti Toscani means something special, but we prodded Julie and Ollie for more of their thoughts on why they continually choose this store when travelling in Tuscany. “The material is great, the quality is high and Sharon and Alessio are very nice,” Julie commented, adding that Maledetti Toscani influenced the couple’s move toward “buying our clothes only in Italy; we hardly buy anything in Germany anymore.”
Stop by and see the Maledetti Toscani magic at work.
Maledetti Toscani. Via della Condotta 36/r, Florence – 055/211981