How an Italian Shoe Shop Changed My Life

“It’s called VIAJIYU,” my professor told us as he led us down the cobblestone streets of Florence.

“Is that Italian for something or what?” I whispered to one of my friends. She shrugged.

My professor liked taking us on little field trips now and then. He wanted us to appreciate everything Italian culture had to offer, so he’d show us cool leather shops and interesting bars and some of the historic sites we’d learn about in class. But this time, as we walked, he turned to me specifically and said, “You’ll like this a lot, Callie. It’s about shoes and women.”

I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but I nodded anyway. Soon enough we were filing into a little boutique on the twisting street of Borgo Santi Apostoli. My first impression was that the place was truly beautiful — I loved the clean, simple décor, not to mention the colorful array of ballet flats and wedges. Like many women my age, I was a sucker for shoes.

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