Mostra dell’Artigianato 2017

By Isis Wozniakowska (California State University in Florence)

The first thing I noticed was that the show was huge. As soon as they handed me the map of the area I was completely stunned. It consists of several storehouses of artisan merchandise from the recycled and handmade to the big business (particularly the leather businesses). This is a great place to go if you’re a fan of the Florentine leather goods because most the major stores in Florence have stalls at the craft fair where you can get jackets and bags for 50% their usual prices. Of course, for most students like me that’s still way beyond my budget but if leather is specifically what you’re looking for this is the place to get it. Also a little tip, the show is two euros cheaper on a weekday and it runs from 10am all the way to 10:30pm (22:30) so even if you have to come by in the evening its completely possible to get in cheaper. Although, it’s only 6€ on the weekends so even then it’s not too much for most people’s wallets, and the quantity makes it worth the entry ticket.

Aside from leather goods there were many different forms of handcrafted artisan goods from jewelry and clothing, to soaps and scented satchels to hang and keep the house nice and fresh. Thankfully, it’s all conveniently separated by type, as well, to make things easier. So, there’s a section for health and wellness, another for vintage goods and even one specifically for products made from various recycled materials.  These were things like bags made from old jeans and jewelry made from damaged forks, spoons and watches. I don’t think I even have to say that the show really does have something for everyone. Not only is there more to see than they give you time for, there are also so many different kinds of artisan crafted pieces to find. Fair warning though, some things may be more expensive than others so definitely take your time and look around, maybe noting where the thing you want is. Chances are, you could find something equally or more appealing further down the line for less money than the previous. And if you don’t, you can always go back since ultimately, you have all day available to you with the ticket offered.

And just to make sure you don’t get overly tired or weary while window slowly and carefully window shopping from stall to stall they have set up and outdoor eating area with every kind of food imaginable. The American Diner has a place, there are stands for Japanese food, and traditional food of South Tyrol, as well as the classic piadina lunch snack that is quite popular in Northern Italy. Just hope the weather is nice because there is an inside eating area as well but most of the food has to be ordered outside, and I’m not sure if there are any back up measures for rain. Though thankfully all the stalls are inside so there isn’t any risk of drenched goods.

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