Handmade Treasures: International Handicrafts Fair
Each year, the International Handicrafts Fair has been drawing visitors from all over the world. It showcases one of Florence’s oldest and most precious treasures: its traditional crafts.
After experiencing one of our tours in Florence, Italy, visitors are often left enchanted by the city’s handmade crafts: fine gold jewelry, top-quality leather goods and, of course, beautiful artwork, to name just a few. Our guided tour of Florence will give you a taste of the city’s artisan culture and illustrate the rich history behind it. And if you’re a lover of all things handmade, you won’t want to miss the Florence International Handicrafts Trade Fair.
Each year, the International Handicrafts Fair has been drawing visitors from all over the world. The fair has been held in the historic Fortezza da Basso since 1931. Once a Medici fortress, the Fortezza is now Florence’s premier exhibition and trade fair venue. And there is no better place to showcase one of Florence’s oldest and most precious treasures: its traditional crafts.
Why don’t we step inside the massive walls of the fortress and take a peek?
Just inside the main pavilion of the exhibition, you’ll discover a real treasure trove of handmade gems: the Italian Handicrafts section. Here you’ll find the very best in Italian design, with products by craftspeople hailing from all over Italy. The clothing, jewelry, accessories, housewares and furniture on display here are proof that Italy’s creative culture – and its appreciation for fine craftsmanship – is very much alive today.
On the lower level, you’ll catch the scent of incense and exotic spices: this is the International Handicrafts section, with exhibitors from such faraway lands as Nepal, Morocco and Peru. This year, the Guest of Honor is Vietnam, which will participate with a display of traditional dances and costumes in addition to its crafts.
And if you’ve worked up an appetite after a tour of florence, you’re in luck. The top level of the main pavilion is home to the Food and Wine section, where authentic Italian delicacies take center stage. Areas of this exhibition will be devoted to chocolate, creamy gelato, delectable Italian pastries and even craft beers. And your options for snacking aren’t limited to what’s on display: the spacious central courtyard of the fortress is lined with street food vendors who will tempt you with their sweet and savory treats.
The smaller pavilions feature special side events and exhibitions, including a show dedicated to Pinocchio, the world’s most beloved wooden puppet.
The Fortezza is just a few minutes’ walk from Florence’s main railway station, Santa Maria Novella; you can easily fit in a visit before or after one of our tours in Florence. The 2013 International Handicrafts Trade Fair will be held 20th-28th of April and will be open every day from 10am to 11pm (closing at 8 pm on the last day).