In addition to the biggies like the Uffizi and Accademia, Florence is home to so many wonderful small museums and points of interest. Today, I visited the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, the small museum opened by the Ferragamo family in 1995 in the basement of the flagship store on via Tornabuoni, almost at the bank of the Arno. Like many women, I love shoes, but I didn’t have extremely high hopes for this visit. I underestimated the Ferragamo family. The museum is tiny, but it is wonderful. Some biographical information about Salvatore Ferragamo and his rise from humble cobbler to shoemaker to the rich and famous is nicely presented in both Italian and English. Currently, the museum is hosting a Greta Garbo exhibit. Garbo was a loyal customer of Salvatore Ferragamo and the admiration was mutual. Although they only met a few times, she ordered dozens of shoes (one order was for 70 pair – all similar, varying only in color) over her lifetime and firmly resisted Ferragamo’s suggestion early in her career that she wear heels instead of flats. (Garbo was tall and had a long narrow foot – 9AA, and I can say from firsthand knowledge of my own sister’s quest for double and triple A Ferragamo’s that the firm continues to make these hard to come buy sizes and widths. ) There is a small exhibit of shoes made by Salvatore – most of which are so classic and timeless that they could easily be worn today, and there are historic photos of him fitting clients like Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn. The Garbo family provided many items from Ms. Garbo’s private wardrobe and there is a nice video compilation of her in screen tests and roles. The Ferragamo Museum is a great short stop in a city of great stops.
Ferragamo Museum in Florence
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