During the Renaissance, money flowed into Florence’s growing banking sector and the elite, including the Medici family, showed off their new wealth with art, palaces, and luxury goods.
“They started commissioning local artists to do gorgeous pieces of art that would adorn their walls to showcase at their latest dinner party,” says Nardia Plumridge, author of Lost in Florence. “In terms of the artisan culture, that’s been in Florence for hundreds of years. You have these amazing workshops where people make beautiful leather or jewelry in silversmith workshops. It still remains today. It’s something that’s very magical about Florence.”
Lost in Florence is a beautiful book that highlights the best of independent Florence, from food and wine, to hotels and shopping. As the Postcard Academy podcast has covered the city’s best food and wine on previous episodes, I dedicate my conversation with Nardia, an Australian expat who spent years in Florence, on its artisans. You’ll learn where to find the best jewelry, clothes, perfume, stationery, and more. Shopping not your thing? It’s still worth it to pop into these shops, many of which are like mini-museums.