Salvatore Ferragamo: Florence A Palace and the city

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

The Palazzo where important decisions were taken that endowed the city with its current layout

Florence: A Palace and the city
In 2015, Florence celebrated the 150th anniversary of the start of its tenure as the capital of Italy. This is, then, the ideal occasion to stage an exhibition and produce a catalogue on Palazzo Spini Feroni, which played host to the City Council and was, therefore, the place where those important decisions were taken that endowed the city with its current layout.

The Palazzo

In the mid-nineteenth century, the building found itself serving a public function for the first time, after centuries of private ownership, which began with Geri Spini – banker to Pope Boniface VIII – who wanted to manifest the power of his family through the construction of an imposing residence.

As owners of the palazzo, the Spini were followed by the Guasconi, da Bagnano and Feroni aristocratic families, who commissioned magnificent decorative works, right up until the nineteenth century, when the dramatic palazzo became a luxury hotel, welcoming amongst many others Chancellor Metternich and Franz Liszt, before going on to become the seat of the Municipality of Florence, the site of the famous Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G. P. Vieusseux and the unpretentious residence of remarkable individuals, such as Girolamo Segato, the scientist who was well-known for his practice of “petrifying” human cadavers.

In the twentieth century, when Salvatore Ferragamo purchased the building, the palazzo was given a new lease of life, accommodating craft workshops and high-fashion ateliers, along with famous art galleries showcasing artworks ancient and modern. The exhibition encompass a number of prestigious artworks, endeavour to recount this complex history, benefitting from the input of specialists and of renowned set designer Maurizio Balò.

The building, framed by the beauty of Florence, offers a snapshot of Italian culture and is today the global symbol of the Ferragamo fashion house, which is based there; this demonstrates that the talent of the Italians lives on thanks to the places where it is nurtured and works, providing proof positive that beauty generates beauty.

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