Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

What began in pre-war Italy as two small workshops in the Palazzo Spini Feroni on Via Tornabuoni has grown into a fashion empire and a brand synonymous with Hollywood glamour. A museum dedicated to the craftsmanship of Salvatore Ferragamo opened in this grand palazzo in 1995. The collection includes the wooden lasts, or forms, that Ferragamo used to shape shoes for stars like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Loren. Glass cases display some of the company’s colorful and iconic creations—many that seem more sculpture than shoe. There is also a small space that hosts contemporary art exhibitions.

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Ferragamo Shoe Museum

This jewel box of a museum, located in the basement of the 13th-century Palazzo Spini Feroni where shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo first set up shop in 1927, is a perfect antidote to too much Renaissance art. Anyone with even a vague interest in fashion will be enchanted by the fabulous array of shoes on display and the documentation of Ferragamo’s life and times. The collection includes shoes worn by Hollywood icons Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

Heavenly Shoe Shopping in Florence

I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for movie stars, videos, and photos of celebrities showing off his shoes, from Carmen Miranda to Andy Warhol. Last time I was there, I found myself gazing at cases of his colorful shoes from the 1940s, in a room with two other women I’d never met, and within moments we bonded over the beauty—oohing, aahing, and sighing together.

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