Firenze, Santo Spirito

Workshops in the Oltrarno

Breathing in the authentic Florentine air

The Oltrarno district is sometimes called ‘the other Florence’; it is a neighbourhood packed with artisans workshops that give rise to unmatchable creativity, colour, quality and uniqueness. The Oltrarno of Florence truly reflects a city where people still dedicate their time and talents to ancient crafts. One of the most charming, passionate and multifaceted quarters of Florence, it was once considered the ‘poor neighbourhood’. Now, this area is a place that fully exudes the city’s history. Florence can truly be discovered there, in the Oltarno’s maze of narrow streets—every morning artisans create fine craftsmanship made according to ancient techniques, which have been handed down for centuries. Their patient, meticulous brand of work distinguishes Florentine craftsmanship worldwide. The Oltrarno is often defined as ‘an open-air museum’, represented by its myriad shops, streets, alleys and workshops. This heterogeneous landscape hosts numerous artistic masters whose workshops are located in San Frediano, San Niccolò and Santo Spirito.

In this area, on the other side of the Silver River, you can run into workshops where goldsmiths produce exceptional creations with precious stones. Thanks to their skill and mastery, you can witness the creation of jewellery that inspires a rare sense of beauty. Visitors to the area will delight in discovering famous shops featuring silver chiselled works, made entirely by hand. And don’t miss the many streets that are famous for their antiques, such as Via Maggio. In this district, you’ll also find places where artisans practice the ancient technique of engraving metal or continue to use fifteenth century gilding techniques to produce furniture and frames in the Santo Spirito area. This noteworthy journey will also lead you to workshops that create tailor-made shoes and leather, ceramics, inlaid wood and decorations. Art lovers visit the area to revel in the smell of mastic and paint—it’s a part of Florence one can’t help but love. A lovely place to discover—it’s a wonderful place to get lost.