Paolo and the gold of Florence

“Get ready to see shining gemstones, pure gold and silver amid crucibles and chisels! The excitement will be great and you’ll spot a sparkle in your children’s eyes .”- Paolo, goldsmith in Florence, Italy

Promise kept: even though we at Italian Stories are not kids anymore, our eyes sparkled several times by watching Paolo at work. His goldsmith workshop is nestled in a quiet backstreet, a stone’s throw away from Ponte Vecchio and few minutes’ walk from Uffizi Gallery.


Book a visit at Paolo and Daniela goldsmith workshop in Florence on Italian Stories website

Try to ask some locals about the former convent where, during the 15th century, family Medici brought all the Florentine goldsmiths workshops together. Most of them will not have a clue. In here, since 1948 Paolo creates and restore jewelry and other artistic works nearly the same way they did in Renaissance time.

Several years ago Paolo’s daughter in law and skilled jewelry maker Daniela, who studied goldsmithing at Istituto statale d’arte of Florence, took over the company from him. Paolo’s passion for his craft never faints.
“He overcame the 1966 flood of Arno river – there are still signs on the walls, and the 1993 Massacre of via dei Georgofili. He still works hard every day, often overtime, but he will never retire: he enjoys his job too much.

Fire and crucibles! It’s time to melt some pure gold.
Of course our eyes sparkled. It would happen to you as well, if you were here.

We were told that Paolo’s workshop has a strong Renaissance flavor. It’s true.
The gleam of the jewels on the workbench, the wide range of tools, the way he and Daniela create their works of art tell us stories we’ve never heard until today.

We discover the ancient technique of cuttlefish bone casting, for instance. We were staring with amazement at Paolo while he was pouring the melted gold into a couple of cuttlefish bones previously molded into a specific shape.
Daniela and Paolo gave us also an interesting account of  Florentine goldsmith history, starting from Etruscan age.

The workshop overlooks Santo Stefano al Ponte court. From its window you can spot a beautiful ancient stone water well. The church itself, along with its Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art rooms, the goldsmiths guild chapel and meeting room, is worth a visit.



Did we mention that Paolo walked us through the making of an hammered gold neckless? We pounded gold rings until flat, the same way goldsmiths did 2000 years ago. It was fascinating. We’ve never imagined to handle ourselves such a precious material.
Why don’t you try to experience yourself?

Book a visit at Paolo and Daniela goldsmith workshop in Florence on Italian Stories website


While in Venice, discover Marino’s workshop, where the ancient craft of goldbeating leaves on by booking a visit on Italian Stories websiteGoldbeater in Venice with her gold leaf

Credits: foto di Daniela- Casa dell’Orafo

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