A Hidden Gem in Piazza Santo Spirito
by Joseph Sutton (Syracuse University)
Since the age of 15 years old, Giuliano Ricchi, a silversmith from Scarperia (in the Tuscany region), has worked as an apprentice under Carlo Cecchi’s jewelry making business. The small artisan shop makes for a wonderful discovery in Florence. Giuliano offers tours of his workshop and will show you his basement of authentic silver smith machinery, as well as the production from start to finish.
Today, Giuliano is 70 years old and opens his doors to students and anyone else interested in watching his work. He is humble and passionate about showing others his masterpieces. It is rare to find a small, high quality, and family-owned shop like this one in Florence today. The Cecchi Carlo Di Ricchi Giuliano metal studio can be found in the Santo Spirito neighborhood on Piazza Santo Spirito 12, 50125, Florence, Italy. The shop is hidden, but be sure to go through the door marked #12. The bell is marked with the name ‘Ricchi.’ When you enter the courtyard, his shop will be on the right. It isn’t very large, but Giuliano has another factory outside of Florence where more of his crafts are made.
Giuliano will guide you through a demonstration of how he makes small etched metal plates with his specific patterns, engravings, and shapes. He will also show you some of his sterling silver jewelry, which is made and formed from wax molds.
Giuliano’s products have reached the United States as he sells his items through Neiman Marcus and Gump’s catalogs. He sells jewelry and metal works such as pins, picture frames, candlestick holders, soap dishes, pill boxes, cufflinks, Christmas ornaments, and much more. You can buy these items at the shop for about 25% less of what they might cost you in other stores.
I had the opportunity to go with my classmates on a Wednesday morning. Because of this valuable experience, I’ve gone back multiple times with friends to show them Giuliano’s work. It’s small shops like these that really make Florence a beautiful city filled with skilled artisans and attractions.
Be sure to call Giuliano’s shop before coming in for a visit (+39 055 214942). Stop by for an hour or more…you will not be disappointed!
To learn more about the way Giuliano makes his jewelry click here. This video will show you Giuliano’s workshop of Florentine style metal (enamels and miniatures) and his precise creations.
If you’re interested in the artisans of Florence, watch this short film. It documents the artisans of Florence and the cultural impact they have on society and everyday life.Google+