Historical Shops. Historic and Artistic Routes


Within the EU project RESTAUROnet the Historic Centre Office of UNESCO World Heritage, in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development, has published the book Florence Between Art and Workshops with the ultimate goal of promoting alternative routes in the historic centre of the city to discover, not only the rich artistic heritage, but also of the craft and commercial activities that characterize it and which have been handed down from generation to generation.

The book, Florence Between Art and Workshops, by Carlo Francini, texts by Francesco Vossilla and Francesco Cinelli, photos by Fabio Chiantini) offers six routes within the city centre and offers to the reader information on historic heritage with particular attention given to the works of minor shrines, palaces, sculptures ect… of high quality and value that often escape for the eye of the visitor who is rushed or distracted. The text is interspersed and supplemented with 45 information sheets dedicated to in-depth description of the historical periods of extreme merit along the proposed routes.

Traditional activities are an important historical heritage of the city and it is important that citizens and tourists are aware of their existence and of their value and are, therefore, encouraged to attend them and visit them not only as places of sale of high quality products but also as places of art and culture.

  • The first route starts from Piazza della Repubblica, continues on Via Calzaiuoli, via Calimara, via Orsanmichele arrives in Piazza della Signoria and ends at the Uffizi with five historic shops (Gilli Caffè, Concerto Paszkoski Caffè, Le Giubbe Rosse Restaurant, Farmacia Molteni, Rivoire);
  • the second route starts from Piazza Santa Trinita, resumes along via Tornabuoni until you reach Piazza Antinori, continues along via degli Agli, via Vecchietti, via Pecori, arrives in Piazza San Giovanni and continues in Piazza del Duomo and turns into via dello Studio, via del Corso, via Proconsolo, Piazza San Firenze e ends in via della Condotta signaling the presence of 10 historic stores (Procacci, Parenti, Old England Stores, Casa dei Tessuti, Officine Panerai, Ristorante Buca San Giovanni, Enrico Verità, Pegna, Ceramiche Luca della Robbia, Bizzarri);
  • the third itinerary leaves deom via dei Servi arriving in Piazza Santissma Annunziata, continues in via Battisti, Piazza San marco, via Ricasoli, via de’Pucci, via de’ Gori e termina in Piazza San Lorenzo highlighting 10 historic stores (Cornici Campani, Bartolini, Cartoleria Rigacci, Farmacia SS. Annunziata, Robiglio, Libreria Oreste Gozzini, Libreria antiquaria Gonnelli, Casa del Tappezziere,Passamaneria Toscana, Trattoria Gozzi);
  • the fourth route leaves from via della Scala, arrives in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Ottaviani, continues in via dei Fossi, Piazza Goldoni, via della Vigna Nuova, via Palchetti and ends in San Pancrazio highlighting the presence of 8 historic shops (Officina profumo – farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Galleria Frilli, Liverano, Farmacia Munstermann, Galleria Masini, Coltelleria Bianda, Stampe Cornici e Lampadari Baccani, Fiaschetteria da “Il Latini”);
  • the fifth journey departs from Piazza Santa Croce running along via Verdi, arrives in Piazza Salvemini e ends in Borgo Albiz bringing to light five historic shops (Scuola del Cuoio, Filistrucchi Parrucche e Trucco, Farmacia Canto alle Rondini, Andreini, Marzotto Carta e Cartoni); the sixth path departs from Ponte Vecchio, continues in Borgo San Jacopo, via Maggio, via Michelozzi and ends in Piazza Santa Spirito, identifying seven historic shops (Paolo Pagliai Argentiere, Bongini Antiquariato, Trattoria Cammillo, Vettori frutta e verdura, Guido Bartolozzi Antiquità, Bini forme per cappelli, Farmacia Santo Spirito).

The choice of the size of the edition, 17 to 21, was dictated by the need to reach a balance between the need of description and information, and the need to provide the reader with a practical and easy to handle, almost pocket-size book, to easily take with themselves while visiting the city. The book has a map of Florence, which positions the reader by reporting while pointing out points of interest further discussed in the text. In addition, it was decided to give a lot of importance and space to images by choosing the use of high quality printing and of innovative cuts in order to transmit to the reader strong and immediate sensations, ultimately intriguing them and giving them the incentive to visit the highlighted places and works of art, focusing on the suggestions and on the descriptions.

Credits by Niccolò Bandini