The area of Santa Croce is historically renowned for its leather making and Scuola del Cuoio is the real prof. Ancient tanneries used to line the streets on Via dei Conciatori and Corso dei Tintori. Florence prides itself on tradition and for those wishing to learn about leather making, or if just after a quality handbag, Scuola Del Cuoio is the ideal place to visit.
One weekend I decided to visit the beautiful church of Santa Croce, with a very unique artistic style, gathering a great number of tombs of the most renowned and famous personalities of the past.
Moving inside the main building, I was drawn immediately into this magical world with an extraordinary history.
Created 64 years ago by Marcello Gori, Scuola Del Cuoio is still a family affair. Sisters Laura, Francesca and Barbara Gori all play a vital part in continuing the ethos of the school developed by their father. The Gori family have been Florentine leather makers for almost 100 years beginning with a store on via del Corso in 1932. In 1950, Mr Gori with his cousin Silvano Casini were invited by the Franciscan Friars of the Monastery of Santa Croce to teach a practical skill to orphans affected by World War II. Housed in what was once the home of trainee monks, the current workshop and showroom stand under wonderful 15th century arched ceilings complete with Renaissance frescos and the Medici coat of arms.
Today the school is still full of students, most travelling from all over the world to train under the Gori family’s guidance learning classic Florentine leather making skills. Everything you see is made by hand using traditional methods and original designs.
The smell of the leather is preciously authentic among the shop.
Handbags are central to the collection. Laura designs the classic style while Francesca makes one-of a-kind hand stitched bejewel bags. You can also create your own bespoke bag by working with Francesca on your creative idea. The store also sells tailored jackets, leather-bound notebooks and purses.