Florence Free Tour

During the period of Florence as capital Palazzo Vecchio became for obvious reasons the center of power of the new Italian State. Inside, due to the size of the various rooms, the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were placed. But at that point the problem arose of the municipal offices, where to place all the aforementioned rooms with the staff? As often happens in our times, even at the time the Municipality owned various properties in the city, a medieval building was chosen for its size and proximity to the city’s center of power: Palazzo Spini Feroni. In fact, many do not know that during the period of Florence as the capital, today’s Palazzo Ferragamo was the municipality of our city until 1881. Only in 1938 did Salvatore Ferragamo purchase the building which became the parent company of his business as a designer of footwear and leather goods. The great creativity in creating footwear with sometimes bizarre motifs made the designer famous throughout the world, so much so that he established a museum in 1995 inside the Spini-Feroni palace.

Palazzo Spini-Feroni is present in the depiction of Piazza Santa Trinita in the frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Sassetti Chapel, in the nearby church of Santa Trinita, which is found in the scene of the Miracle of the resurrected child, in the center of the chapel just above the altarpiece. The entire cycle of frescoes is dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. In this scene the saint is linked to a miracle that occurred in the square when a child fell from a window of Palazzo Spini and was however resurrected thanks to the intervention of the saint of Assisi. In the scene you can see the Palace on the left, from which a child is falling while some passers-by watch the scene; in the center the same boy sits up on the catafalque thanks to a nod from Saint Francis who providentially appeared in heaven.

In the underground rooms, where the Ferragamo Museum is located today, there is the family’s ancient well, which was thus able to draw water directly from their home. This well, surmounted by a lunette frescoed with a female profile, is called Beatrice’s Well, in homage to Beatrice Portinari, who met Dante for the first time precisely in the vicinity of the adjacent Ponte Santa Trinita, according to what the poet himself reports in Vita Nuova.