It’s well known that Italy produces some of the most original and beautiful leather handmade goods in the world. If you visit Italy, be sure to spend some time seeking out shops that offer one-of-a-kind hand made leather goods. They will last for a lifetime. And they are exquisite.
“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” Johannes Brahms
For leather sandals, I have an absolute favorite shop in Sorrento that produces what I consider to be the most beautiful sandals in the world. It’s named Corcione and when you visit this stunning shop, there is always someone there, working to make these beautiful shoes by hand. Tucked away down a side street in Sorrento, at Corso Italia 28, Corcione has been producing handmade sandals since 1925.
One of the extraordinary things about this particular shop, is that they will allow you to participate in the creation of your own sandals. You can choose the height of the sole of the shoe, along with the particular style and design you prefer. The owners will fit the sandals to your own feet. Yes, you can always choose from their many ready-made versions, but the real fun, I think, is in making your own personal selections. You need to come at least a day ahead to chose your design elements and then plan to return the next day, for a final fitting.
In addition, you can choose the exact color of leather straps you want, along with the jeweled accents and other personal touches you wish to add. Best of all, these handmade sandals are not totally beyond reach. Ranging anywhere from 40 to 185 Euros and up, they are an outstanding buy! And when purchased this way, they also become one-of-a-kind.
I have found that looking for this kind of unique shopping experience is a great way to spend time when you’re traveling on your own. Making a connection with gifted craftsmen, like those at Corcione, elevates shopping solo to a whole new level. The creative process feels like a collaboration between customer and artisan. The results too are exciting! Since you’re making your own selections, there’s a special anticipation that comes with seeing the final product. You’re not buying something you’ve already seen! Back home, when you wear your beautiful new sandals, you’ll be transported back to the experience. And the compliments you get will be so much fun, because you had a hand in making them yourself!
Set out to treat yourself whenever you shop, by taking in everything around you. At Corcione, you may need to wait, as the shop draws lots of locals as well as tourists. They may tell you to come back in a few hours, but if you do, they may not be ready yet. Of course, there’s no lack of things to do in Sorrento, so having to occupy your time while waiting is more than delightful. But I find that giving these craftsmen a day or two works better. The shop is small, it can sometimes get very crowded and In southern Italy, I don’t believe that there is a word for “rush”.
That’s also part of this wonderful shopping experience too! If you can, always seek out the one-of-a-kind and the unforgettable! That’s how to shop with “A Table For One”.
Copyright 2015 Marion O’Grady
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