I always make it a point to get myself a one-of-a-kind present whenever I travel. I listed down some ideas before I traveled to Italy: mask from Venice, chili pepper necklace, leather goods or Italian shoes. I came across thousand of options along the way but nothing made my heart leaped until I discovered a shop that specializes in making custom-made sandals in Rome. di San Giacomo is a small hole in the wall shop located in Santa Maria Novella, you can’t miss it though because of the wonderful display of colorful sandals in all style- I was immediately hooked and rushed inside to get myself a pair.
There are more than 60 different colors of leather straps to choose from but I went for a classic route since I’ve been meaning to get myself a tan or caramel-color sandals in time for summer (as seen on Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson). I discussed the design in sign language (the guy doesn’t speak a word of English) and left the shop feeling excited about the result. 30mins later, I came back to get my sandals correctly fitted. He meticulously measured and adjusted each strap according to my feet shape. After another 10 minutes, my new pair was ready, I immediately binned the sandals I was wearing and hit Rome’s cobblestone street for a test drive. Here’s a glimpse: