Tuscan Feeling Blog

Tag Archives: Florence


Handcrafted shoes in Florence

Tuscan Feeling.

Are you angry, tired, depressed, unhappy? Is there anything that can make you feel better than buying a nice pair of shoes?
Shoes and Chocolate, probably, are the favorite antidepressants from each of us! Much better than an analyst’s therapy session.
If you look for the chocolate, Florence can offer you some great places, really delicious.
Florence is best known for shoes. Whether you’re looking for brand shoes, rather than hand-made shoes.
Probably, the capital of the Renaissance is one of the few places in Europe where you can experience the joy of buying handmade shoes by appreciated shoemakers. The historic center’s area of Florence, where they are concentrated artisans shoemakers is the Oltrarno, near the district of San Niccolò.

A well known historical workshop is located in the small and little frequented Via Barbadori, at 19r, alongside Ponte Vecchio. Here you will find the Maestro Calogero Mannina’s workshop, now deceased, which was used to create footwear, authentic unique models created for his faithful clients. The workshop is still alive and filled with forms for the creation of custom-made footwear, each bearing the name of the customer. Peering through the window, you will see the names of many rock stars and Hollywood actors, as well as leading politicians. Tuscan Feeling has many apartments in this street and, for our personal experience, we still remember the skill, patience and humility of Master Mannina’s way of working, which we considered one of the best artisans in Florence.
Near Palazzo Pitti, where Tuscan Feeling can offer you some other apartments for rent, it is the workshop of Mara Broccardi, an artist who creates exclusive models of shoes for ladies. Mrs. Broccardi’s workshop, is located in Sdrucciolo de Pitti, at number 17r,
Recently, the shoe brand founded by Stefano Bemer, a master shoemaker who died recently, was purchased by the prestigious Scuola del Cuoio. It ‘gave rise to a school for those who want to learn how to build and design shoes in a traditional way, it is via San Niccolò, in the heart of the district where you’re talking about. The shop is located in a deconsecrated church, fully restored, became the seat of laboratory, office and negozio.La historical workshop of master Bemer was instead in the district of San Frediano, nearby, in a place that has become a symbol of the city because shoemakers here he stayed for nine months in 2001, the actor Daniel Day Lewis, who decided to learn from Bemer art of creating custom shoes. This new school offers international courses and lessons by the best craftsmen and designers of Florence.
Not far from the district of San Niccolò, in Piazza Santo Spirito 62 / r, you will find the small workshop of Francesco, that produces high quality shoes, with a completely family-run business. Prices are still low and reasonable, and you can order handcrafted shoes. They also provide a fully working worldwide shipping service.
Another fine leather shoes shop in Florence is the Rive Gauche, in Via Guicciardini. It is another family run business that design and produce handcrafted shoes and leather goods for over 30 years. Shoes here have a great value for money, bearing in mind that these are handcrafted pieces.
If shoes are your thing, the district of San Niccolò is the right place to live, if you want to study or visit Florence. Here, the atmosphere of the ancient city of Florence, with its craft shops, is still preserved. Plus, you will be surrounded by art places famous all over the world, such as Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens or the Uffizi!!

Tuscan Feeling suggests you the following apartments in S.Niccolò area:

S. Jacopo Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt. S. JACOPO – 75 m2 – 6th floor (with elevator) – for 2 persons

Pitti Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt PITTI – 70 m2 – 4th floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

S. Orsola Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt. S. ORSOLA – 50 m2 – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Mancino Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt. MANCINO – 60 m2 – 3rd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Have you ever been in the oldest European Pharmacy? Visit the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence!


The Wonderful Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Via della Scala, in Florence Italy.

Cosmetics, body care products, perfumes, soaps and creams, extracts and essences are your thing? You have to visit the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, during your stay in Florence.

The famous Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella, o Antica Spezieria di Santa Maria Novella is in Via della Scala, 16 in Florence in a part of an ancient convent. It is considered the oldest historic pharmacy across Europe. It is active since almost 4 centuries, and it is one of the oldest businesses of the town of Florence.

Ancient chronicles Florentine tell us that already in 1300 the Dominicans of Santa Maria Novella started selling the famous rose water as a disinfectant, used especially during epidemics of plague. The ‘acqua di rose’ is still sold by the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, and is one of the most popular fragrances choosed by many women: simple and natural, with a gentle tone.

The monks still today cultivate medicinal plants (so-called ‘semplici’, hence the name ‘Giardino dei Semplici’) in an adjoining garden, they distille herbs and flowers, do essences, elixirs, salves and balms.

Entering the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is like jumping back in time. The frescoed walls and decorations make the place truly magic. You will walk through large rooms, strung like a maze of art and details. You will see the fascinating ‘Sala di Vendita’, the prestigious ‘Sala Verde’ and the mysterious ‘Sala della spezieria’, in addition to the beautiful ‘Sagrestia’ and the interesting Museum. The museum, develops in those rooms who were once the production workshops. A path through the machines once used for processing, glasses, ancient pottery and vessels of brass and bronze.

Are you undecided about what you want to buy, or you just want to know more about the place and objects? No problems!
All necessary information to curious customers can be found in one of the great interactive digital display, or, remaining tied to tradition, are available in many languages of the beautiful parchments containing the history of the laboratory, but also an endless list of cosmetic products.

Of course, the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella is not only a museum, but above all it is a place to buy unique products of great quality. Such as natural and hypoallergenic fragrances, ranging from colognes, essences, triple extracts. The sweetest scents such as iris, rose, gardenia, those cooler as verbena, vetiver or the particular water of Sicily are what Tuscan Feeling suggest you to try and buy.


Santa Maria Novella essences…

The same essences are used in the soaps’ production, which are left to mature in special ventilated cabinets. You will definitely kidnapped by the packages’ refined beauty and by the exclusive potpourri’s aroma: a Tuscan hills’ blend of herbs and flowers, macerated in terracotta jars coming from the small village of Impruneta.

The ancient Pharmacy is near the Santa Maria Novella church, situated just across from the main railway station which shares its name. It is the first great basilica in Florence and the city’s main Dominican church. It was built in 1360. Leon Battista Alberti designed the upper part in 1420. In 1567 the architect Giorgio Vasari did the first remodeling of the church. Inside you will find works by Giambologna, Filippino Lippi, Filippo Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Ghirlandaio and many many others.

The area, near the Stazione Centrale di Santa Maria Novella, It is very old and is in the heart of the historical center of Florence. An area of great impact on tourism, but it has the merit of having kept its charm and retained many small shops.

In this area you can find many Tuscan Feeling‘s apartments. We could suggest you, for having an idea, a couple of different location to rent with us:

Apt. LECCIO: 45 m2 – 4th floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Long $ Short Term Rentals Florence


Among the antique shops and small libraries in the area, you will find this lovely apartment with tasteful décor and functional, designed for those who want to experience Florence with all the comfort. This loft is located at 4 Floor of an ancient tower-house (62 steps) and consists of a large room comprising entrance hall, the dining area, a fully equipped kitchen corner with 4 burner stove, oven, fridge, microwave, washer-dryer and dishwasher, toaster, american coffee machine and lounge with TV. Bathroom with shower and separate small compartment with the toilet (size 1.5 mx 0.55 m): This division brings back to mind the taste back to the early twentieth century. From the living room a staircase rises to the loft where there is a double bed and walk-in closet (dressing room). The views overlooking the roof garden of a hotel with several oak trees.

Apt DADO: 40 m2 – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Dado Apartment in Florence


Modern and elegant apartment, recently restored, very near from the Arno River and the Central Railway Station of Santa Maria Novella, near the old Piazza Goldoni. In ancient times, Middle Ages, the city walls of Florence ended in this place and this place was an ancient center of trade in goods from the River Arno. Today is a border area between the fashion streets with clothes shops, accessories and griffe and those of Florence’s most popular, with excellent restaurants and quaint craft shops. Among the small antique shops and bookstores in the area, it is located this lovely apartment, with elegant and functional furnishings. The apartment, recently restored and well furnished, consists of a bright living room where there is a sofa and a TV-LCD, as well as a functional kitchenette (2 burner stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and small electric oven). The room is quiet and spacious room with 1 double bed, which if necessary can be divided into 2 comfortable single beds. The property includes a bathroom with shower, where the washing machine is located, and a practical storeroom.

Discover the Mercato Centrale! Fruit, vegetables, meat, delicacies, culture and new trends.

Mercato Centrale Apartments

The Main Hall of the Mercato Centrale in Florence.

If you have the chance to live near Piazza Duomo or the wonderful Central Market, you’re really lucky.
You do not have to worry about where you buy your meal, spending hours to find exclusive and special foods and what to do in the evening. The new Mercato Centrale will be, for you, the perfect place to shop, eat a snack, drink a glass of wine and listen to live music, deciding which shows or museum to choose for the next day. Tuscan Feeling offers many apartments in that area, in the heart of the historic center of Florence, for long and short rentals (www.tuscanfeeling.com). Living in this area, with your own apartment, is truly an unforgettable experience, because you will have all the freedom to live exactly as the Florentines themselves.

The multi colored Mercato Centrale (http://www.mercatocentrale.it/) is located between Florence via dell’Ariento, via Sant’Antonino and via Panicale. It was one of the major buildings of the reconstruction’s period; when Florence was the capital of Italy, in the late nineteenth century. To build the covered market was necessary to destroy an entire city block, which stood in a maze of narrow streets, ancient but rather unhealthy. The area came out haggard, but beautified and ennobled. Florence, in fact, needed a covered market of new concept, as well as those that already had risen in many European capitals, such as London, Paris, Budapest or Vienna.

The architect was Giuseppe Mengoni (1870-1874), who designed the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. He took inspiration by the market of Les Halles in Paris. The result was remarkable, especially for the time, with the use of modern materials, such as iron, glass and cast iron. All around the market, Mengoni designed a loggia, composed of 10 arches in classic style on each side, with slender columns of stone. The inauguration took place in 1874 with the International Exhibition of Agriculture.

It was a success from the start! The city felt projected into modernity. The spaces inside were occupied by the best shops in Florence. Fresh meat, quality fruits and vegetables, bakeries, delicacies shops and small places for drinking a glass of good wine, were the goods that people can find there, once upon a time. There was no family, who lived in the old town, which did not do their own costs there. Over time, two world wars, the reconstruction and the arrival of supermarkets and big malls, the Central Market became obsolete and poorly attended. Inside, the shops lost their function of serving the common people and became progressively a showcase for tourists, with excellent products, but not crowded. The top floor of the market, with the closure of a number of shops, was closed in the late nineties. In 2014, however, it was re-opened on the first floor of the complex, with a number of restaurants and activities, which re-launched the Mercato Centrale as the center of attraction for the Florentines, foodies and tourists. Exclusive restaurants, local appetizers, great places for snacks, live music and cultural events, are the ingredients for the rebirth of a truly innovative space.

The market now is crowded again, but service times of shops and eateries are really very fast. It is a very special stage for those who visit Florence, which combines speed and good food: from tasty hamburger of ‘Chianina’ meat, delicious vegetarian menus, excellent fish dishes and a lot of pasta, that you can choose. At the time of the ‘apertivo’, it is the best place in Florence to spend some time with friends, choosing a glass of fine wine, tasty Italian craft beers or a glass of Spritz. Perhaps with even a bit ‘of live music: jazz, blues, classical or some local indie band. A place to love and to live at any time of day!

If you want to live in the nearby of the Mercato Centrale, www.tuscanfeeling.com suggests you the following accomodations for rent:

Apt. CAROLINA – 65 m2 – 1st floor – for 4 persons

Apartment Carolina

Apartment Carolina

Apt. LORENZO – 80 m2 – 2nd floor – for 3 persons

Lorenzo Apartment

Lorenzo Apartment

If you love the area, and you are looking for a great apartment to buy in the nearby, Tuscan Feeling suggests:

Apt. STUFA – 60 m2 – 3rd floor – for 3 persons

Stufa Apartment

Stufa Apartment