Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 23, 2013

Artisan expo in Florence

I attended the Mostra Internazionale dell’Artigianato at the amazing Fortezza da Basso. It was worth going just to see this wonderful collection of buildings in Florence. The ancient fort has been put to good use as an exhibition centre.




At the entrance there were some delightful old photos of previous exhibitions in the centre. The Mostra has been going since 1931.






There were hand made products from all over the world, but we concentrated on the Italian things. Ceramics were well represented.



There was furniture.



Some lovely doors.



A kitchen I would love.



There were cute animals in ceramic and wood.




Some pretty umbrellas.



And lots of things that didn’t look hand made at all, but I am not going to show you those.

Our favourite find was a delightful man from Sardinia who makes knives. He happily showed us his beautiful knives…and we had to buy one.



The handles were all carved by hand from horn and the blades lovingly shaped by Efisio.(



The exhibition is on until 28th April. If you are in Florence have a look. There are other things on show in different areas of the exhibition centre and of course, there is lots of places to get good things to eat.



  1. Yes, this is a great exhibition – we visited it some years back and were truly glad we made it there.

    • I think it may have been better in the past. Some of the things looked very mass produced.

  2. What a marvellous day. You must have spent hours in there. I love the old photographs – especially the guy with the huge moustache and homeknit jumper!

    • That moustache was very impressive. I saw one waiting outside the barber in the piazza in Ponte a Serraglio this morning…I hope he was just going in for a trim.

  3. I would have loved to go there… Next year I will not miss it.

    • There is a lot to see and the centre itself is interesting.

  4. Look like a great exhibition. Sorry it will be finished by the time we arrive back in Italy.

    • I’m sure you will find enough to keep yourselves amused.

  5. The ancient fort looks like a lovely place and I imagine a pleasant change from the often nondescript building that are used to host exhibitions.

    • It’s good to see these places being used and not left to fall apart.

  6. WHAT a lovely treat to see all those delicious things. The knives, swoon! Did you buy one with an engraved blade? They ARE intended to use, right? Another exciting post; grazie!

    • I bought one of the smaller ones to peel fruit etc. I love the ones with the carved blades, but I wouldn’t have a use for it.

  7. The works of art on one of the doors is a clever idea. I love the rustic kitchen with its beautiful green mosaic tiles in the sink area and around the edges. Also love the quirky wooden fish hanging from a piece of driftwood. My head would swim with looking at such a wide choice of delightful displays on show! The Old Fort is indeed a fitting venue to present the best of Italian arts and crafts. I enjoyed the virtual browse, though it would be even better to do it in person…..

    • The kitchen was stunning. I would love it at my place.

  8. I really liked looking through those old sepia images! The people looked very stylish in them!

    • Old photos are fun to look at.

  9. LOVED the umbrella shots!

  10. Oooooh, those knives are lovely.

    • They are beautifully made and the man proudly showed us the lovely details.

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