Though Milan is considered Italy’s fashion capital, Florence is home to some of the most historic fashion houses in the country, including shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. You don’t have to be a fashionista to appreciate the Ferragamo Museum, where the beauty and craftsmanship of the iconic shoes classify them as works of art, rather than simply footwear.
The Ferragamo Museum, opened in 1995, is housed in the Palazzo Spini Feroni on Piazza Santa Trinita, a 13th-century former residential palace that Ferragamo bought in the 1930s to serve as his company headquarters and workshop. The museum’s collection started with a staggering 10,000 shoes created by Ferragamo from the 1920s until 1960, and has grown after his death. Exhibits rotate every couple of years, and there are also temporary exhibitions from time to time.
Join a private artisan walking tour of Florence to explore the city’s thriving workshops along with a number of its museums honoring Florentine fashion labels like Ferragamo and Gucci. You can easily pair an artisan tour with a guided visit of the city’s highlights, including skip-the-line access to the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Accademia (home of Michelangelo’s David).
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Ferragamo Museum has an adjacent boutique where you can purchase Ferragamo shoes and bags.
- If you’re joining a walking tour of Florence, wear comfortable shoes and a hat.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchair users via a dedicated entrance.
- A visit to the Ferragamo Museum is a must for fashion addicts, but the vintage displays and life story of Salvatore Ferragamo are fascinating even for those who are more interested in history than design.
How to Get There
The Ferragamo Museum is located in the heart of historic Florence, just steps from Ponte Vecchio and an easy 10-minute walk from the Santa Maria Novella train station.
When to Get There
Florence is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, and it can get very crowded in summer. Plan to visit in spring or fall to enjoy the city’s museums and monuments without the crush of high-season tourists. The Ferragamo Museum is open daily, and can offer a respite from the crowds the more famous city landmarks see at midday.
Florence’s Famous Fashion
In addition to Ferragamo, Florence is home to a number of other famous names in fashion. You can visit the Gucci Garden, dedicated to the history and design of this iconic Florentine label; the Capucci Museum in Villa Bardini, dedicated to Roberto Capucci; or the elegant boutiques of local designers Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli.