Walking down Via Maggio in Oltrarno, your eyes will be feasted on the gorgeous window displays of Florentine art galleries and antique shops. It is a notorious street for treasure hunting, but of course not without a hefty price tag. Most places look way too expensive for me to even consider entering, so most times I just sneakily walk by and peek through the windows to catch a quick glimpse.
There are a couple exceptions of course, and one of them is “& Company.”
You won’t miss the vibrant window display with beautiful handwritten calligraphy covering the glass, inviting you to come in. Upon entering, I felt like I had been transported into a wonderland full of ornate handmade and handwritten paper designs hanging from the ceiling. Whimsical touches were everywhere to be found and beautiful calligraphy was on everything.
The owner, Betti Soldi, is a famous Florentine calligraphy artist who decided to open not just a store to showcase her work, but a studio workshop as well. Hidden in the back of her shop is a large workspace for holding events and workshop sessions for all who want to learn the art of calligraphy straight from the expert.
I was bummed we were visiting during a time when the studio wasn’t open, but I was still able to admire all of the gorgeous handwriting. From bowls, to mugs, clutches, tote bags, plates, ornate dishes, stationary, postcards and even jewelry and watches, her store was a sanctuary for special affordable treats to bring home with you.
Since visiting, I found some new inspiration to start practicing calligraphy on my own again.
Hope you will throw this one on your list of to-do’s while visiting Florence!