Handmade shoes are one of the ‘Made in Italy’ excellences in the world. But why are they so appreciated and important? To begin with, we must think of the rich history and quality of shoemaking in Italy. Handmade shoes retain the unique aura of century-old crafts and skills handed down from generation to generation. In fact, shoemaking in Italy has always been a family affair, from the very beginning up to today, and that’s why handmade shoes are a synonym of authenticity linked to culture and work ethic.

Materials also play a huge role: Italian leather is soft, smooth, and chic. Stained and finished by hand, leather is the main (if not the only) ingredient used in these fine shoes. The high quality of the materials and the care with which they are assembled make handmade shoes extremely resistant. So, even if they cost more than normal shoes, handcrafted footwear lasts more over time. And, in the case of leather shoes, you could also say that they improve over time because they acquire that “vintage patina” that makes them even more charming!

Finally, the owners of handmade footwear often feel emotions like happiness and pride. Why? Because these handcrafted shoes are unique products: no other identical piece exists in the world! The long processing time justifies the wait to receive the finished object, especially if you order tailor-made shoes that fit your foot and reflect your taste to perfection. As shoemaker craftsman Daniele Ortolani explains in the interview below: “passion, space, time and skills give value to the quality product created from scratch”.


Daniele is the master shoemaker that collaborates with Studiainitalia, providing authentic learning experiences for international students in his bottega in Florence.

Throughout the years, several international students have rated our leather shoemaking course very highly.

“I would like to thank both the course organisers, Federica and Lara, and my teacher Daniele for a wonderful and enlightening experience. I absolutely loved the course and would have loved to stay longer and learn more. Daniele was really professional, dedicated and patient. He made me learn a lot about shoes in two weeks” said Dana back in 2015.

More recently in 2019, Denise shared: “I loved the shoe making course. Daniele was knowledgeable and patient with us. Two weeks was enough time to learn the process and leave with a unique pair of shoes. […] The once in a lifetime experience was fabulous and I would highly recommend this for anyone willing to learn and enjoy a fun filled holiday in Italia.”

We are happy to announce that this leather shoemaking course is now also available online! You can e-learn the secrets of Italian shoe making in the comfort of your own home.

Click here to read more reviews and information about our leather shoemaking course (online or not) and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.



Photo Credit: Ortolani Calzature on Facebook