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International Handicraft fair in Florence – what not to miss!

artisanfair florence italy Starting yesterday was one of my favorite fairs in Florence – the annual International Handicraft fairMostra Internazionale dell’Artigianato at the Fortezza di Basso. An annual fair running since 1931 with the aims of showcasing artisans from all over the world and locally. I have gone every year since being here and really love browsing the various stands and snacking on international food and wine.

While the stands themselves are pretty much the same yearly, they always have new exhibitions, food and events and I highly recommend taking the time to visit, if only for an hour or two. The Fair is running from April 20 – 28th, weekends will likely be a nightmare with crowds so if you can swing it, go during the week like I plan to do!  Everything will be open from 10am – 11pm, so no excuses!

Whats not to miss? 

  • Food! Normally the layout includes one floor of Italian handicrafts, the other International handcrafts and of course food. My favorite topic of conversation. Usually they always have Italian specialities and paninos along with international treats like paella and food from Tibet. This year promises more than ever – 6,000 square metres inside the Attic floor of the Spadolini Pavilion dedicated to food addicts like myself separated into ‘food districts’. One special new dish this year is the The ‘Maharadscha’ , strong and spicy, to be paired with papadam (Indian bread) at a German Vegetarian Restaurant. Returning is the tibetan restaurant, along with a sangria & mojito station, a french creperie. There will also be a Tyrolese Restaurant (offering knödel, gulasch, as well as wienerschnitzel and strudel and Sacher), and a traditional Mugello restaurant from the Emilia Romagna area – and.. for dessert you can stop by the Tenda marocchina (Moroccan Tent) on the lower floor of the pavillion for snacks & tea! More info here.
  •  Iran, the Ancient Persia. This year those looking to escape into the wonderous world of the Middle East should head over to the special area dedicated to the ancient Persia. Craftsmen from Iran will be at the fair showcasing Iranian arts & crafts, their millenary history, as well as traditional food.
  • Pop-up Fab Lab – Digital Makers. :Learn, Make, Share!  We can’t ignore the fact that being an ‘artisan’ can also be digitalized. This is 2013 after all and it’s nice that the fair reflects this new world of artisan makers online. Inside the fair, try and find them and attend one of their seminars/workshops which surely will be interesting if you are a nerd like me. Full program {in Italian} here.  Also don’t forget to check out MakeTank – they will be in charge of the whole day of wednesday at Fab Lab, with their vendors presenting their techniques and objects.

  • Special guest – the country of Vietnam! At this year’s fair, Vietnam will be Italy’s special ‘guest’ with the aims of showing the public more about their lovely nation. On the lower floor, you can check out the area dedicated for them as well as a special fashion show with traditional Vietnamese costumes held at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Working in social media myself, I can appreciate the fact that they have decided to connect with everyone via twitter, FB, pinterest, youtube and google plus. Pretty impressive and just goes to show you that some events/fairs in Florence can actually get it together in time.

I plan to visit this Monday when I hope there will be less crowds that way I can eat/photograph my way through the 77th edition of the Mostra Artigianato, can’t wait! Anyone else planning on going?

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0 Comment

  1. D
    22.04.2013 at 10:10

    I love, love, love this fair! I’m glad you posted some details since I hadn’t read much this year. I hope the Iran section is rather large (I love Persian culture). Last year I was disappointed to find one stand….handbags, I believe. AND food? yay.

    I love the food sections overall, the most 😉 but IMO this is really a must-do and see for everyone, including the handcrafted items, home decor etc.

    1. ggnitaly84
      22.04.2013 at 10:17

      I absolutely agree, I am actually going after work today and can’t wait! So expect a follow-up post ;-). I always love snacking on the various foods. I always pick up something cute there too so I wouldn’t underestimate the shopping!