Day 6 – I think we did everything in Florence today…

My feet were very unhappy about all the activity of today, however, I was happy to experience business models that stood in opposition to those we have previously explored on this trip. Our first visit was to the Florentine leather school, which started as a way to impart trade knowledge onto WWII orphans but has since become a way of passing on the artisan leather trade. It was an interesting business plan because it revolved more around the goal of fostering an artistic community rather than efficiency and profit, but of course still recognized cost effectiveness in the form of reused materials, such as recycling scrap gold and leather.

We transitioned from this to the Gucci museum, which was really not my cup of tea. I realized from our visit that Gucci’s main job was marketing, and that was their position in the supply chain, which I had not thought about before. Thus even though the marketing strategy itself was not designed to appeal to me, I was able to appreciate the techniques that are essential to their role of creating a desirable brand among high-end shoppers. One notable marketing style was that of Gucci’s luggage line, which advertised a traveling lifestyle as opposed to a single product. By marketing a luxury lifestyle to clients, Gucci is able to sell them a variety of home products of which I was previously unaware.

Finally, we visited the Gallileo museum, which displayed various scientific instruments and tools which I found very interesting. I was particularly fascinated by a whole room of physics demonstrations once used in classrooms. The woodwork and glasswork techniques involved in these pieces were truely remarkable.

Having three activities in one day made this a very fulfilling part of the trip. However, I am very much looking forward to a relatively relaxing day tomorrow, with only one planned activity.

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