Oltrarno's Traditional Shops
In Oltrarno, the ancient handcraft Florentine tradition is still alive. Walking toward this area, you will see the narrow and dark streets lined with shops and workshops such as carpenters, goldsmiths, restorers, frame-makers. Since 1856, Giulio Giannini's historic stationary, via Piazza Pitti, 37 offers beautiful hand-made leather note-books, and gilt diaries. From the square, reaching via dei Vellutini, 5 you will find a shop full of paintings, chandeliers, inlaid furniture and large mirrors. These works of art are all hand made by Bartolozzi & Maioli. Taking Via Maggio, typical for its antiquary shops, you will meet the well known Zecchi's showroom. The Florentine antiquary sells precious and rare items, which are addressed to the experts. Continue along Via dello Sprone to visit two other interesting shops: Aprosio & Luti and Studio Puck. The first one produces magnificent spider web goods using Bohemia crystal, Venetian glass and crystal pearls. The second one produces fanciful hand painted frames. Keep on walking until you reach San Jacopo district, where you will find San Jacopo Show, which is a very original shop and produces beautiful dummies and other goods that can be used to adorn boutiques as well as private homes. La casa del '900, Borgo San Jacopo, 45, displays the typical glasses of the thirties, liberty brooches and many other jewels of the early 20th century. The neighbouring district of Santo Spirito is also full of workshops such as Arredamenti Castorina, which provides frames of every form, style an size or the shoemaker Francesco da Firenze, who may offer an excellent assortment of hand-made shoes. Further we enter in Borgo San Frediano, where, among new and old stores stand out the Paralume, which is a typical antiquarian shop characterized by hundreds lamps of different style and the Casa delle Bambole, which recalls the ancient handcraft tradition of laces and underwear. In the near-by Piazza del Carmine, Filadelfo Scaparro's shop displays a large number of wrought iron items, which are typical of the Florentine tradition. Next to his shop, it seems impossible to see a lute-maker's shop as that of Claudio Arezio. Ending, the Antico Setificio Fiorentino should not be missed (by appointment only). Here you will find a showroom and several workshops of the 18th century, which produce silks, velvets and damasks of incomparable beauty.