Shoe lovers from all over the world travel to Florence to learn the art of shoemaking. After all, where is the best place to learn how to make shoes if not Italy, the homeland of Ferragamo, Gucci, Tod’s and Prada? (Click here for “Top Ten Italian Shoemakers”)
Florence is famed for its handcrafts and fashion brands, and you can explore the best of both worlds in its historic botteghe. These artisan workshops are authentic shoemaking schools, headed by master cobblers who have been in the trade for decades.
Join a shoemaking school in Florence
Studiainitalia, an Italian agency specialized in creative tourism in Italy, offers a shoemaking course in a typical bottega in Florence. The shoemaking workshop is characterized by the care and attention with which staff members treat each and every course participant, in a cheerful and informal atmosphere.
The course lasts for 2 or more weeks: you can book a 24, 48, 72 or 96-hour course and distribute your hours along the number of weeks of your choice. The program includes aspects of shoe design, quality of the materials, anatomy of the foot, knowledge of the utensils, use of the cutting knife, the shape and the heel, base models for the manual method and stitching, assembly and finishing phases.
The course is individual, meaning that the program can be adapted to your own needs. It is taught in Italian: if you do not speak the language, you can either combine an Italian course with the shoemaking workshop, or apply for a translation service. At the end of the course, you receive a certificate of attendance, and all the models that you create are of your property!
Click here for more information on the shoemaking workshop, costs and accommodation options.