Until today, the story of Salvatore Ferragamo is one of the most exciting of its kind. Set in Hollywood, it’s about the shoemaker of the stars, how the Americans would call Salvatore Ferragamo fondly, about Italian fashion, about friendships with famous actresses and about his enormous success on the movie sets. At the age of 30, Salvatore Ferragamo returns to Italy and chooses Florence as his second home.
Here he finds a city with a long standing history of art, elegance, refined taste for beauty, inspiring shapes, fine materials, and extraordinary craftsmanship. A symbol of Florentine heritage, the Palazzo Spini Feroni becomes Salvatore Ferragamo’s store and workshop in 1938, and a home to the creation of masterpieces of shoes, fit for the nobility, the international diplomacy, and the glamorous cinema world.
Amongst his clients were Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Anna Magnani, and Sophia Loren.
Until today, the Palazzo Spini Feroni is the seat of the fashion house Ferragamo and its impressive museum. Located in Piazza Santa Trinita and surrounded by Florence’s divine shopping boutiques, the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum beautifully displays the life of a genius, who brought world-wide fame to Italian fashion.
Legend has it that Beatrice, Dante’s beloved, came to the cellar of the palace to fetch water in a well that still exists today. A charming space, which features an exhibition of shoe models derived from innovative materials (during the war, when leather was scarce, materials such as raffia, cork, and transparent chocolate foils were used). Salvatore Ferragamo wrote in his biography: «My female clients are divided into three categories: the Cinderella, the Venus, and the aristocracy. A Cinderella shoe is smaller than size 6. Venuses fit a size 6, and the Aristocratic woman uses 7 or above.»
As you exit the exhibition, don’t miss the unique boutique with a selection of precious imitations of vintage models, designed especially for Judy Garland, Greta Garbo, and Marilyn Monroe.
Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
Entrance: Palazzo Spini Feroni
Piazza Santa Trinita 5 / R, 50123 Florence.
Tel. 055 3562 455/417/456