Tours / Genie's hands: Guided tour of artisan shops in Santo Spirito

Guided tour of the artisan workshops in the historical district of Santo Spirito, in the heart of theĀ Oltrarno in Florence.

The neighborhood is located around the square overlooked by the majestic basilica designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century and a stone fountain but also several clubs and breweries that animate the area until late at night. Recently Santo Spirito has become a meeting place for young people and is also very popular among tourists, but keeps its traditions alive.

In fact, this is the only square in town where the market is held every day. During the past this area was one the most loved by artists and intellectuals and it is historically considered the neighborhood of craft shops, where the ancient crafts are handed down with passion and wisdom from father to son. A qualified tourist guide will accompany you to the discovery of these places, visiting a workshop to look at the ancient technique of etching and athe laboratory of a famous silversmith.

Etching is the term that indicates the artistic print obtained from a matrix of engraved metal, using an acid solution

In ancient times it was the name given to nitric acid, with its strong corrosive power. In order to make the prints, it is first necessary to prepare the metal matrix, usually a copper plate on which the drawing is made and which is precisely immersed in an acid bath. Then the actual print is made by spreading the ink on the plate and using a press, which presses the sheet of paper on the matrix where the drawing is transferred. In this way it is possible to create a certain number of works using the same matrix, before it deteriorates and becomes unusable. The artistic prints produced at the Ippogrifo by Gianni Raffaelli are all original graphic works; each etching is guaranteed by a certificate attesting to their authenticity and limited edition. We will see together the master and his family at work and you can admire his gallery with over 500 works made over the years.

Silverware is another of the most typical activities of Florentine craftsmanship

We are by Ponte Vecchio, the natural border of the Oltrarno district and one of the symbols of the city of Florence, where you will find the most important goldsmiths and silversmiths. A long tradition began in 1593, when Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici ordered to move the butchers shops and give way to those of the goldsmiths. We will visit the Fratelli Peruzzi workshop silversmiths from 1860 and included in the register of historical establishments in Florence.

Here we can see a real silversmith's workshop with its working instruments from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. You will look at the drawers of wonders full of models made by master craftsmen in the 150 years of history of this company. We will also have the opportunity to understand the different stages of production: from the model to the rubber, from the plaster form to the wax, from the semi-finished to the finished product. It will be an unforgettable experience to all intents and purposes.


Private guided tour of artisan shops

Etching and silverware

Monday to Friday

Not possible during the weekend

Not available in July and August