It's very difficult, even unfair, to rate Italian manufacturers in terms of quality on a scale. You have to remember something about how the shoes you see wind up on store shelves. The American and British shoe industries are based on few traditional patterns being massed produced at a given price point. The Italian industry evolved differently. Most factories/brands (much work is shared by tradition) have a diverse offering of patterns and materials to accomodate many uses. Where the Brits and the Americans offer a shoe that fits 5 uses, the Italians are quick to offer 5 shoes to fit those 5 needs. Also, the UK and Amer. manufacturers sell what they make while the Italians ask 'what do you need?'. It's a different philosophy. Most Italian factories have a wide repertoire of offerings and are accustomed to working with many different types of customers, from the Far East, to the US, to Europe to Africa, you will see many types of footwear; while the Allen Edmonds available in Topeka is the same Allen Edmonds I saw in Lucca a couple of months ago. Now, what the Italians sell is much more what the Buyer of a particular store want's to buy, so you don't always see a factories' strength. More than once, I've bought a Moreschi shoe that would sell much better in Morrocco then Richmond. The best example of this that I can think of is Santoni. Santoni's specialty was always Goodyear Welted and Norwegian shoes whose main distribution was Northern Europe and the Far East. A salesman here (in the US) wanted to build his own business and went to Italy numerous times to find a suitable partner. Mr. B. had his own vision of what he wanted to sell here and Santoni agreed to go into business with him. What were the original Santoni shoes distributed here? Mocassins. With somewhat Native American motifs. The traditional Santoni shoes you see here lately, and referenced on this forum, were only recent additions to Santoni's US stocklist. And that was only after Mr. B. opened a store in NYC and needed a more well rounded inventory. When I am in Italy, and stop by Santoni, mocassins are no where in sight ('those are for the Americans'). So my point is, Italian shoes really need to be judged on a shoe by shoe basis, not by manufacturer. All that being said, whenever an Italian brand develops here and adds a store in NY, for 'marketing' reasons, and starts to appear in magazine ads, you can bet the prices are reflecting that. So, if the question is quality per price point, Santoni makes great shoes - and have become overpriced; Bruno Magli makes great shoes - and are overpriced; Tods has some great shoes - and are overpriced; Ferragamo has some great shoes (notice I did not say makes) - and are extremely overpriced. Gravati, on the otherhand, is one of the best deals out there in terms of quality for the money. R.Martegani is another brand that, although not available here in a large way, is a great brand for the money. DiTommasso, Speroni, Borgioli, and many others offer fantastic quality for the money.