Thank you for your interest in our local artists! The Oltrarno is a small district of Florence known for its rich history in creating fine art. If you’ve ever been to Florence it is the Quartiere Artigiano adjacent to the Pitti Palace on the south side of the Arno River.
It is a known fact that the artists of Florence have struggled to preserve their time-honored traditions and to thrive in their various and unique forms of art and creativity.
With Covid this problem has obviously worsened and sadly, we are seeing more and more artisans closing their shops and being forced to walk away from work that is their passion. Moreover, they may be among the few remaining handful of people that hold the skill, creativity and knowledge of their craft.
These arts are dying and the artisans are in various states of getting by. In many cases, they cannot even get by and must close.
We are working to help preserve these priceless traditions in the following way:
Set up the Artisan Quarter Association which will benefit local artists in and around the Oltrarno.
Create a website that will feature these artists and their stories. We will create an online store to facilitate these artists' ability to market and sell their work. This site will be designed to be an ongoing revenue stream for these artists and other craftspeople historical to the Oltrarno.
Simultaneously, we will be reaching out to the artists who have had to shutter their bottegas to see if they want to return to their shops and will endeavour to facilitate this reinstatement of artists wherever possible - attempting to rescue what may not be irrevocably lost!
Once these first critical priorities are addressed, our hope is to expand this Association to other parts of Florence and beyond.
Bruno Petrarchi, Alessio's grandfather, opened the shop in 1921 with a few other artisans reinvigorating the Oltrarno with their crafts. Silvano, Alessio's father, took over from Bruno in 1965 and in turn, Silvano handed it off to Alessio the current Petrarchi running the business with dedication and passion. Alessio is a master upholsterer using generational techniques rebuilding furniture. He has taken these techniques further and is combining traditional knowhow with modern framing to create exquisite works. He also collaborates with other gilders that work with fine gold leaf frames, carpenters and restorers to amplify the service he can offer you.
For more than 20 years, Gianni and his wife Francesca have worked in their shop-studio where it's possible to enjoy their gallery which offers more than 500 pieces made during their career. Lately, their son Duccio also joined the family business, adding a modern touch to the beautiful prints or "Aquaforte", which are created by using the technique of Etching that allows only a limited number of copies of each design.
With more than 45 years of experience working with leather, Alicia makes unique handbags and accessories in her workshop in the Oltrarno in Florence. In 2012, daughter Ivana joined her in studio. Ivana pursued her passion for embroidery and beading first in the bridal industry and now creates intricate accessories and jewelry. Their story goes back to the 19th century in Puglia, Italy, with 4 generations of shoe makers.
The firstborn of Italian immigrants in Canada, Giovanna truly found her roots here in Florence where she still has family on her maternal side. She has been in Italy since 1988 and started with Monnaluna in 2009. This project rotates around the necessity of expressing her inner emotions with joy and fantasy through the accessories she creates. Monnaluna is an expression of the tradition of goldsmiths in fashion jewelry.
For more than 20 years in his workshop near Santo Spirito, Roberto Ugolini has been creating bespoke mens shoes with great style and elegance. Every pair of mens' shoes are handmade using the finest leathers and materials of the customer’s choice. Artisan craftsmanship enriched by custom original techniques that reflect the personality of the wearer.
Tiziana Alemanni is an Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur.
A native of Sicily, in 2010 she moved to Florence to come closer to the heart of the Italian fashion industry, particularly since the city is renowned throughout the world as a center of artisanal craftsmanship and tradition. A few steps away from Palazzo Pitti, her atelier combines the design studio and retail into one space.
A combination of two different backgrounds. Flavio is a goldsmith, who specialized in different workshops in Florence and worked for jewelry stores on the Ponte Vecchio. Debora has a degree in advertising and experience working in interior design that connected her with antique Florentine furniture restoration from the Renaissance. She became passionate about this art observing it in Flavio’s laboratory. The simple initial shapes naturally evolved into a more Baroque and Gothic structure, which still today represent the cut they give to their jewels.
Wood Art & Furniture Restoration
Renato started working with wood at age 14, making custom furniture. After 10 years he moved to Florence to learn restoration of antique pieces and working in a Master’s workshop. He is still in his original workshop after 36 years, working on restoration of furniture and wooden inlay. Renato also teaches this restoration techniques to students.
Giuliana takes the passion from her childhood, from a Florentine family where handcraft is highly valued. Her father and maternal grandmother are those who convey the passion of doing and creating. This and her interest for fashion are the elements that drove Giuliana to become a Fashion Designer, specializing as a Dressmaker. In the summer of 2011 she opened her workshop atelier in the Florentine handcraft district of Oltrarno.
Stefano has been creating works of art as a tinsmith for 45 years. His business is based on the creation of antique style chandeliers in brass and glass. Over the years he has also specialized in the restoration of antique lamps. He opened his workshop in 1949 and was fortunate to have learnt from the masters that passed down their knowledge to him. This exclusive handmade production is highly unique and specialized.
This is an example of a craft handed down from the "maestro" to his pupil as has happened in all of the antique Florentine workshops over the centuries. Vasco Cappuccini opened this shop in 1925 and his pupil, Lamberto Banchi, started his apprenticeship in 1946 then taking over the activity from his mentor. Today the work continues through his son Duccio, an artisan who forges pieces in bronze. In particular Duccio makes furnishings and home decorations made-to-order, as well as working on the restoration of antique bronze art pieces.
After a period of changing locations, in 2015 Walter decided to combine his experience as a design artist and as a leather artisan, and created the brand "Mortegan". From his small workshop in the Oltrarno he specializes in the making of entirely handmade unique purses and accessories in leather. Walter keeps an old family tradition alive, that of fashion and leather, along with his history as a painter and designer.