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03 Oct

What do you know about Florentine craftmanship?

The modern image of Florence is characterized by the presence of so-called handicraft “Bottega”? Originally the word “bottega” meant a place where professional craftsmen and women sewed clothes to order using traditional techniques. The widespread popularity of “bottegi” increased in the 19th century, when Florence became one of the main tourist destinations in Europe perpetrated by members of aristocratic families. Craft workshops, in contrast to industrial companies, remained committed to traditional techniques and tools used for working on metal, wood, glass or other materials. In “bottegah” every individual product that is created, embodies the ideals of the Renaissance, which has remained one of the most important influences in Florentine history. After Florence experienced a deep economic crisis after the 18th century and the Napoleonic conquests, it began to actively use its historical relationship with a great past, creating magnificent works of art in the Renaissance style in marble, bronze, wood, ceramics, iron, leather and fabrics. In Santa Croce and the area of Oltrano, the first craft shops and antique shops were established that implemented the objects that embody the high and refined style of the Florentine aristocracy. However, by the end of the 20th century, tourism has evolved from the privileged classes and the mass production of inexpensive souvenirs replaced the workshops of handmade goods. Consequently, the business of these small workshops suffered badly. The catastrophic flood in 1966 also caused considerable damage to many “bottegi” and were forced to close. But on a happier note, one can still find the small craft shops specialising in traditional art.

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