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An Artisan Walk Through the Oltrarno Quarter

The narrow streets of this neighborhood feature unique studios
id_3209403
Rating: 3 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.3 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours

Overview:  Florence’s Oltrarno district is known for its artisans—"artigiani" in Italian—a dying breed of creative hands that carry on ... more »

Tips:  Note that Florence has a unique address system! Any street number with an "r" after it means "red." Look for... more »

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Points of Interest

Florencels Oltrarno district is known for its artisans-- a dying breed of creative hands that carry on centuries' worth of Florentine traditions. From bookbinders to violin makers to metalworkers and restorers, the little maze of streets between the Ponte Vecchio and Santo Spirito are quietly off the beaten track, overlooked by most visitors.

... More

2. Bartolini & Maioli

From Caffe degli Artigiani, head across the little piazza to Bartolini & Maioli. A peek inside the large, stable-like doors will give you an idea of what's done here: wood restoration. Not just your grandmother's furniture, though, we are talking sculptures, artworks and antiques.

These sculptor-restorers have any impressive resume that... More

3. The wood sculptor

Continuing through the characteristic little streets of this neighborhood, we arrive at a different type of wood restorer.

His space is open to visitors, so even though he may not speak much English he is happy to have you to pop your head in and have a look at what he does. He works mostly on small sculptures, often for antique stores or... More

4. Enrico Giannini

Next door is Enrico Giannini, a fifth-generation bookbinder. He speaks English, so feel free to ask him any questions. His tiny studio belies the amount of things he does. Not only does he make books, albums and boxes but he also makes the city's most beautiful marbled paper. This Florentine tradition of beautiful colors and flecks of gold or... More

5. The Sarubbi Brothers

Continue down Via Toscanella to the end of the street. To one side you have the Pitti Palace, the most enormous family palazzo in the city. Here lived all of Florence's ruling families from the time of the Medici grand dukes until the early 20th century. It is still filled with the families-- collections of silver, paintings and inlaid marble... More

Heading into Piazza Santo Spirito, the heart of Florence's artisan district, you should make a stop at the quaint little café, Volume. With books on the shelves to buy or flip through, comfy leather couches and artisan gelato from Carabe--gelateria (on via Ricasoli), this little café became an instant favorite when it opened last... More

7. Giuliano Ricci

In the back of Piazza Santo Spirito, at No. 12, is the beautiful laboratory of Giuliano Ricci. Do not miss out on the opportunity to visit this wonderful little studio, tucked away in the courtyard (you must ring the bell outside to be buzzed in).

Ricci makes beautiful objects in Florentine-style metalwork from pill boxes to jewelery to card... More