Antiques and Artisans
Start with an amble over Florence’s very own Fort Knox, the Ponte Vecchio, for a wallet cleanse at genius gemmers Fratelli Piccini at #23r / 055 294 768, then, fingers twinkling, cont. across the bridge to the Oltrarno side and up Via de’ Guicciardini. With Madova on your left at #1 (see Stand. Stores) hike right down Via de’ Barbadori to find handmade hush puppies at #19r Mannina / 055 211 060, and further on at #41r Tavoli di Marmo / 055 215 766 / tavolidimarmo.it / has inlaid marble whatnots. Whip to the end and then left up Via dei Ramaglianti, and right down Via dello Sprone for a sweet stop at Gelateria della Passera (see Gelateria) on the right cnr, and little Piazza della Passera in front, which for centuries was home to several brothels. The tables under the parasol belong to Tuscan treat 4 Leoni / 055 218 562, 5 e Cinque is at #1 / 055 274 1583, tripe tratt Il Magazzino is at #2/3 / 055 215 969, and #5r Bartolozzi e Maioli / bartolozzi emaioli.it / is a camp and comely mix of antique religious and decorative carvings. Exit Bartolozzi right and turn right up Via Toscanella to see the Oro e Colore School of Restoration at #18r / 055 289 415 / oroecolore.com, followed by B&C at #26r / 055 211 437 / bieci.it / for a rather nifty range of handmade antique-style storm lamps, star lanterns and brass lighting. The big Pinocchino statue beckons you in for a pitstop at #32-36 Toscanella (see Rest./Casual), or scoot on to the end to hit Sdrucciolo dei Pitti. Options. Turn left for Piazza de’ Pitti, a few steps to your right at #5 is modish milliner Antonio Gatto (see Stand. Stores), while on the left cnr is Pitti Mosaici (see Adv. Shop.). Continue left here for Pitti Gola e Cantina (see Wine Bars) and a few mins more brings you to Giulio Giannini e Figlio at #37r (see Standout Stores). Or, head right down cutey Sdrucciolo for Le Telerie Toscane at #15r / 055 216 177 / letelerietoscane.com / with ace linens + they’ll make anything to order from tablecloths to quilts, then shoe-be-do Mara Broccardi at #17r (see Adv. Shop.). On you go, cross Via Maggio and keep heading straight on Michelozzi for Casalinga (see Rest./Relaxed); GustaPanino on the corner opp. the church does a mean takeout; next door is cobbler Roberto Ugolini at #17r / 055 216 246 (see Sartorialista) for classic handmade shoes; and round the corner in the piazza is Borgo Antico (see Rest./Relaxed) and Volume (see Bars). Now, if Tuscan painted furny is your bag, hammer down Via del Presto di San Martino to the right of the church to find Autentiqua at #20r / 055 282 935 / for a slew of country-style armoires and drawers, plus they take custom orders, otherwise turn and go back the way you came, crossing Michelozzi into Borgo Tegolaio. If vintage 60s/70s lighting fires your fuse scoot on to Historical Design at #23r / 055 218 327 / 338 696 9019 / open Fri, Sat & 2nd Sun of each month, then backtrack till you meet Via Mazzetta. Swing right then left onto antique-laden Via Maggio and grab a java hit at #61r Dolcissima (see Coffee)... you’ll need it. This street is literally a treasure trove (check out the beaut black n’ white Palazzo Bianca Cappello on the left at #26). Crisscross and amble, but don’t miss bespoke hooves at #68/70r Mario Bemer (see Sartorialista), Brit-alian Betty Soldi’s calligraphy art at #60r &Co / 055 219 973 / andcompanyshop.com, the antique fabrics at #23r Piselli Balzano / 055 239 8029, #15r Petra Casini’s / petracasini.com / gobstopper gems, and #11r Translucido / translucido.it / with deco lamps. Champion! Now, zip over Borgo San Jacopo to Piazza Frescobaldi for riverside licks at Santa Trinita (see Gelateria). Buonissimo!