|Artist Jenny Bush is in the foreground.|
The leather market, the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, a few blocks from the Ponte Vecchio features the brass boar whose nose you rub to ensure your return to Florence and dozens of stalls under the protection of an arched roof. Here you can find leather goods of all kinds as well as pashmina shawls, ties and gloves.
|How could I resist that honest smile?|
Then, with plenty of time before class, I wandered over to the Ferragamo Museum. This family evidently supports the British Institute since we regularly meet in the Fiamma Ferragamo room of the Harold Acton Library for lectures, movies or, on Thursdays, for British tea, so I was curious to see their collections.
I loved seeing the shoe molds for Lauren Bacall, Marilyn (who needed only one name for identification), Rita Hayworth, and Royal Baby, but there were many collections of clothing from several eras which were fascinating as well.
|Are the movie stars' feet larger or smaller than you expected?|
Andy Warhol designed this one.
This beautiful gown was made of paper.
|Bet you had a dress similar to this one!|
|This designer will be happy to create a gown expecially for you.|
The museum is located on the fashionable via Tournabuoni in the Palazzo Spini Feroni just over the Ponte Santa Trinita (the bridge just west of Ponte Vecchio). That may sound confusing, but it is quite easy to find the place. Just look for the elegant Ferragamo store, and you'll find the museum on the side and down a flight of stairs.
If you hanker for hand-made shoes, go to the Oltrarno and take the first street on your right, Via del Bardadori, after crossing the Ponte Vecchio. The shoe shop will be on your left, halfway down the block, just before the post office.