lunedì 24 ottobre 2011

Tourist Markets to become Made in Florence

Tourist Markets to become Made in Florence 

By Paige Gherardi

When tourists come to Florence they are drawn to the large markets like San Lorenzo and Mercato Nuovo to buy what they believe to be Florentine goods. People come away with leather jackets, shoes, gloves, scarves, Ciao Bella t-shirts, figurines of Florentine monuments, and just about any souvenir you can think of. While this market started out as a traditional market selling local goods, globalization has changed the inventory to be mainly goods made outside of Italy.

Florence Vice Mayor Dario Nardella is now pushing for all tourist markets to sell only products that are traditional to Tuscany and Italy, and that are made in Italy. Nardella told La Repubblica that he doesn’t have a problem with someone buying from stores selling goods from other cultures, but that he does have a problem that people shopping in the tourist markets are leaving with a tag that says “Made in China.” He emphasized the importance of selling goods made by Florentine and Tuscan artisans even if that means having to change laws in Florence. Laws currently allow for the liberalization of markets, which usually pushes out higher quality and traditional products. Nardella seems to be prepared to create new legislation to limit the types of products that can be sold in markets.

It will most likely be difficult to transform the tourist markets into Made in Italy vendors since foreign goods are cheaper to buy and sell in an economic downturn. However, it is equally important to create outlets for local artisans and producers to sell their products. Market prices may rise for hand-crafted and locally produced goods, but it is worth it knowing that what you bought came from the place you visited. There is nothing worse than getting home with gifts for friends and family and realizing that every item says “Made in Who-Knows-Where.”


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