Florence shopping - Florence jewellery - Ponte Vecchio shops - Florence San Lorenzo Market - Florence - travel links
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The Man who Stole the Mona Lisa

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Florence Guide Italy



Florence has an ancient tradition of craftwork: once upon a time, each area of the city was characterized by a certain type of work, each controlled by the powerful Corporazione delle Arti: sculptors’ laboratories, leather goods makers, blacksmiths and goldsmiths. The corporations were based on strict rules and only the legitimate children of a member could join the profession. In this way, art and techniques have been handed down through the generations to the present day. Some old stores are still more or less in tact, such as the Antica Officina di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, where it is possible to buy essences and perfumes made to formulas that were created in the sixteenth century for Caterina de' Medici, and liqueurs that are still made today following the antique formula used by the Dominican monks.
When walking along the Ponte Vecchio you can see the famous Florentine goldsmiths’ shops, while the handmade- shoe makers are spread around the city. This Florentine tradition was made famous by Salvatore Ferragamo, shoemaker to the stars, whose creations can be admired in the museum carrying his name.
Whoever is planning a trip to Florence cannot forget its thriving food and wine culture. If you want to buy local products, there is no end of choice: tasty cheeses and sought-after salami attract food-lovers from the delicatessen shop windows; it is possible to taste and buy refined wines and fine extra-virgin oils in the many wine-cellars around the city. Don’t miss out on a trip to San Lorenzo Market, located inside the splendid liberty-style building.

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