The artisanal tradition of the Oltrarno
Oltrarno, the charm of the “Other Florence.”
It is known as the Other Florence, the popular one, the one of the tradition, the one that exhudes creativity and uniqueness. Located at the heart of the historic center, stretching around Palazzo Pitti, it is the lively and pulsing heart of the artistic handicraft: the Oltrarno neighborhood, one of the most evocative, passionate and multi-faceted corners of Florence. A maze of bottegas and workshops scattered around the narrow streets of San Frediano, San Niccoló and Santo Spirito, a true open air museum where artisans and masters of the arts come to work every morning with their refined dexterity, following the ancient craftsmanship techniques handed down to them through the centuries. Goldsmith bottegas where you can admire original creations, where precious stones are masterfully handcrafted, where jewels of rare beauty are designed and manufactured and where it is still possible to discover the workshops known for the chiseling of silver, all strictly made by hand.
Morevoer one can find workshops of Florentine book binding, made to measure shoes, painting restoration, lost wax casting, wood carving, furniture lacquering and staining and of the art of ceramics. These bottegas attract daily visitors from around the world who are captured by this atmosphere of a time gone by. An art, masterfully guarded also in some of the museums that we find on this itinerary, like the Galleria del Costume (Gallery of Costumes) e il Museo delle Porcellane (Museum of Porcelains). In this environment of everyday life you can also visit some museums, perhaps not so well-known and prominent, but not less charming. For example, the Gipsoteca (Plaster Cast Gallery) of the Liceo Artistico at Porta Romana, that contains the most interesting collection of Tuscan Renaissance plaster casts in Italy.
To complete this fascinating itinerary, we invite you to stop for a bite: in this area are some of the best “trattorias” in Florence and many restaurants where to taste an excellent typical Florentine cuisine. The Oltrarno is a charming and very interesting neighborhood to visit. It is where lives the Florence that you are compelled to love, the Florence to discover, to explore and where to get lost.