Handcraft is very important in our city’s tradition: in the 12th century our artisans started to gathering themselves up in “corporations”, that’s laical associations for the defense and the development of their professional career. This helped their economic grown and led Florence to be one of the most rich and important cities.
Jewels & Gold: the small workshops made of woods on Ponte Vecchio offer beautiful products of the luxury italian goldsmith, ancient jewels, centuries of history and traditions that led these artisans to make an art from this activity. Even if you don’t care about buying, the view of the shops on the bridge is amazing!
Paper & Bindery: Florence has always been an important center in the productionof colored paper.
Leather: since 1300s Florence is famous for leather production, from the tanning to the tailoring, this activity is thriving nowadays too, from the clothing to the shoes, accessories and small desk objects.
Straw: in Florence the handcraft of the straw is focused on the production of straw hats, activity that began in the 1100s but that became successful only in the 1800s when the new hats arrived to Europe and America; the florentine manufacturing provided also straw covering for chairs and for wine and oil bottles, or of baskets and “corbelli” stranded by hand.
Restoration: there are many renovation schools in Florence, specialized in restoration of paintings, murals and frescos, archeological evidences, paper materials and mosaics.
Herbalist & Perfumes shops: the herbalist tradition begins in the 1200s, when the prosperous Florence attracted unemployed people searching for a job. In this period the dominican monks settled in the area of Santa Maria Novella and created a unique garden. Not to be missed is a visit to the “Officina Profumo Santa Maria Novella” that up today never interrupted its activity of production and selling of soaps, perfumes, liquors, cosmetics, herbal and alimentary specialties. They still select raw first quality materials and use the instructions of dominican fathers.