From high couture to local artisans, this is our selection for you.
Via de' Tornabuoni, or Via Tornabuoni, has been one of Florence's most prestigious streets since the Renaissance. Today it features the finest boutiques of high fashion designers and jewelry makers, giving it a special refinement and elegance. Strolling along it is a true delight, both for the majesty of its Renaissance buildings and for the peace that reigns in this oasis of luxury, a center of true fashion. Alongside major Florentine brands like Ferragamo and Gucci, there are many other famous international labels. Stroll over to Via della Vigna Nuova too, a nearby offshoot, likewise full of shops and boutiques of top designers. Another major shopping street is Via Roma, with its elegant 19th-century buildings and its many shops, such as the elegant Luisa Via Roma shop.
Florence's charm lies not only in the art masterpieces of the Renaissance. Florence also lets curious visitors venture into less touristy parts of town, with their fascinating historical shops and artisan workshops. The most famed of these is, of course, Ponte Vecchio, known for its goldsmith tradition, which you can cross to get to the Oltrarno area. Here the historical craft tradition is alive and well. Today's artisan workshops are heirs to a tradition of technique and spirit carried through the centuries. An emblem of Florence's artisan tradition is set in the very center of Florence and bears the name of the woman who founded it more than 90 years ago:
ALIDA FERRINI (Via Por Santa Maria 60/R): this lingerie and home linen shop holds countless surprises within, abounding in lace, cashmere and embroidery. And for its most discerning customers Alida Ferrini also offers custom-made creations, including embroidery, fabrics and personalized items.
CASTORINA (via S. Spirito 15/R): a world of wonders, in wood, a magical place in the heart of Florence, where the objects are still made by hand and you can still smell the odor of wood.
FRATELLI TRAVERSARI (via Senese, 68): specialized in artistic mosaic production and customized jewelry made with micro mosaic from the late 19th century.
GIULIO GIANNINI E FIGLIO (piazza de' Pitti, 37): Universally known as master bookbinders in Florence, the Giannini family business, however, has its roots in a stationary shop. Giulio Giannini e Figlio was established by Pietro Giannini (1811 – 1882), in piazza Pitti in 1856, still the premises of the firm today. It’s possible to visit the old artisan workshop by appointment and watch or do the marbled paper, an old process of decorating paper that they still do in the same way. They also offer other workshops so people can enjoy an unique experience in the heart of Florence!
ROBERTO UGOLINI (via dei Michelozzi, 17): a small artisan workshop located in the heart of Florence. Their products are still today completely made by hand, with the care and the working methods they learned from the best Florentine artisan tradition, and the materials they use are all of outstanding quality. Their Collection for Men includes models whose modern yet classical line offers a wide range of solutions regarding shape, colours and materials.
LA SCUOLA DEL CUOIO (via S. Giuseppe, 5/R): the unique location, the quality of its products and the commitment to tradition has made Scuola del Cuoio famous. Scuola del Cuoio today remains the largest genuine laboratory in the city where clients can witness the artisans create the leather goods in the midst of centuries-old history.
ARGENTIERE PAGLIAI (borgo S. Jacopo, 41): the ‘bottega's’ has an eighty year experience in restoring and polishing silver objects. The production method has remained faithful to the hand-crafted precepts, hence some procedures such as hammering, chiselling, engraving, the treatment of surfaces are still entrusted to expert craftsmen who keep alive and always updated an enduring heritage of traditions. A collection of engraved objects manufactured to celebrate births, weddings and anniversaries is preserved in the historical archive of Argentiere Pagliai.
ANGELA CAPUTI Giuggiù (via di Santo Spirito, 58): the workshop of Angela Caputi Giuggiù, is situated near the Ponte Vecchio, in the old town of Florence, in a historical building known as “Palazzetto Mediceo”.
Here, the Florentine Artist designs her creations with inspiration from American films of the 1940’s as well as from a long-standing passion for fashion. Angela Caputi’s worldwide recognition has increased thanks to her unique and inimitable bijoux. Her jewelry has caught the attention of both Haute Couture stylists and Museums. Her creations were displayed for example by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, at Museo degli Argenti and Galleria del Costume in Florence.
ANTICO SETIFICIO FIORENTINO (via Lorenzo Bartolini, 4): founded in Florence in the Eighteen Century, Antico Setificio Fiorentino is located in the heart of the San Frediano historical quarter; Today as in the past, it weaves made-to measure fabrics on antique looms following the Florentine tradition. Antico Setificio Fiorentino is one of the last remaining workshops for silk manufacturing in the world. Its hand-operated and semi-mechanical looms weave dreams, embellished by a wondrous warper designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
LABORATORIO LOCCHI (via Domenico Burchiello, 10): the laboratory Locchi is located Oltrarno. In this workshop - famous worldwide for the quality of its restoration of precious glassware and crystal - the work is done with ancient grindstones and traditional techniques continuously refined by careful research.
RENATO OLIVASTRI (via dei Velluti, 21/R): attends the workshop of his teacher of restoration, a valid craftsman well known in Florence, with whom he worked for about 10 years. The activity continues at present still in the same place. He is still devoted to the restoration of furniture and inlaid furniture.
Florence is also home to historical perfumeries that make essences out of top quality, completely natural ingredients. The best-known of these is undoubtedly Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (via della Scala,16). Its extensive products collection includes perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, historical pharmaceutical preparations, home fragrances, and syrups, including in its renowned Alkermes, found in many traditional Tuscan sweets. Its glorious historical location is in Via della Scala; open on Sundays. You'll be dazzled both by the wonderful scent you breathe when you step over its threshold and the endless charm of its interiors and variety of products, all natural. Since the 1980s Lorenzo Villoresi (via de Bardi,14), has been designing custom fragrances for the home and perfumes designed to fit the personality of the person wearing it, like a tailor-made garment. The Antica Officina del Farmacista Dottor Vranjes (via della Spada 9/R) has a great variety of home fragrances, all-natural and based on spices, flower and fruit. In addition to home fragrances, it has perfumes and body care products based on pure vitamins and minerals to treat yourself in spa style at home. Antica Profumeria Inglese (via de' Ginori 2/R) has been setting itself apart since 1843 for the quality and refinement of its products. It was here that Henry Roberts invented a something that made its way around the world: talcum powder. Sileno Cheloni's olfactory creativity spawned a new line of limited edition fragrances, called Teatro Fragranze Uniche (via Maragliano, 56), founded on the inspiration and dedication of three women with the support of profumiers.
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