38 Match maker If you need a little help finding your love-at-first-sight item, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when buying Florentine leather: florence/italy THE SCENT. It should smell natural, even musky. Stay away from anything that smells like chemicals. THE FEEL. The leather should not feel sti¢. It should be smooth, soft and supple. THE COLOR. Be careful with dyed leather goods. The dyes can be used to mask the lesser quality leather. High quality, natural leather in tan or brown does not need any added color; it’s most beautiful in its natural state. THE STITCHING. This should be regular and tight. They should be small stitches sewn closely together. Wherever you decide to shop, remember that Florentine artisans are masters of the made-to-measure. From jackets to shoes, you’ll find unparalleled opportunities to not only go home with an exquisite leather piece made just for you, but to also make a connection with the person whose labor and passion went into crafting your personal memento. Mari de Armas is a travel writer specializing in luxury cruising. She is a regular contributor to the official blog of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Luxury Goes ExploringTM. Read more of her posts at RSSCBlog.com.