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  • In the Wonderland

    9 select addresses of high Florentine craftsmanship: an extraordinary and exciting journey through Italian excellence discovering Florence’s best crafts and artistic items

    An extraordinary and exciting journey through Italian excellence: 9 select addresses representing Florence’s best crafts and artistic items. From our exclusive Helvetia & Bristol Firenze - Starhotels Collezione, let’s start with Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, located in Via della Scala, a benchmark in art of perfume-making. A wide choice of age-old preparations, beauty products, essences and perfumes, but the company’s signature product is the potpourri. Not far away, in Via di Santa Lucia, is the workshop of Vivian Saskia Wittmer, a shoemaker of German origin. Located in Via Cavour is the main shop of Il Papiro, which creates paper objects all decorated by hand, by making use of a technique that has nearly disappeared, paper marbling. In the heart of downtown Florence, in Via Ricasoli, is the workshop of Scarpelli Mosaici, one of the few living experts in the age-old tradition of semi-precious stone mosaic-making, which dates back to the Renaissance age. Moving towards the Lungarno we and another example of high Florentine craftsmanship, Loretta Caponi, at the corner of Piazza Antinori and Via delle Belle Donne. A choice of over ten thousand tablecloths, towels, sheets, cushions, infant and childrenswear and as many models of handmade men’s and women’s lingerie. If you are looking for unique hats in terms of quality and style, head straight to Via della Spada. Here you will find Grevi’s showroom (the workshop is based in Signa). A few minutes’ walk and here we are at the jeweller’s shop Pestelli, in Via Borgo SS. Apostoli: amazing collector’s and furnishing objects in gold, silver and semi-precious stones. Located in Via San Giuseppe, in the Santa Croce neighborhood, is the Scuola del Cuoio (School of Leather), founded in Florence in the postwar period. It specializes in the production of women’s handbags, but it also offers wallets, belts and jackets. Across the Arno river, in the heart of the San Frediano neighborhood, is Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a silk factory dating back to the mid-1700s which still produces a wide choice of precious fabrics. Housed in the fourteenth-century Sapiti Tower, is the workshop of silversmith and restorer Paolo Pagliai, who carries on a family tradition dating back to 1930. Situated along Borgo San Jacopo is the Atelier Bianco Bianchi who makes use of the nearly lost technique of scagliola.