Museums, companies, and footwear showrooms also participate in the exhibition on the 22nd and 23rd of October

[On the cover: “With your hands” has been the payoff of Fratelli Rossetti exhibition at MFW])

The secrets of ‘Made in Italy’, the creativity that becomes a product, the “behind the scenes” of certain prestigious workmanship techniques: all this comes out in the open during the Apritimoda exhibition which on the 22nd and 23rd of October, offering the possibility to the public and non-professionals to come into contact with Italian excellence by visiting companies, showrooms, and museums. From the north to the south of Italy, a hundred doors of great fashion houses open up, as do those of artisans, to tell stories of places, people, and businesses (the complete list and reservations at this link). Among these are also brands and realities from the world of footwear that allow you to appreciate not only the products, but above all the mastery of certain processes, performed by skilled workmen/women, who can be an example and an inspiration to young people to undertake a professional path in the sector. 

In Milan, Santoni opens the showroom in via Monte Napoleone, which has recently changed its face thanks to a collaboration with Patricia Urquiola; inviting the public to take a closer look at the more manual phases of shoe processing, from the leather cutting, to assembly, to the dyeing of each individual model A few meters away, in via Gesù, Doucal’s combines craftsmanship with a contemporary vision of footwear. If the products are shaped by the skill of men and machines, the shoe is born from leather and in Milan, in via Brisa at the Unic, the archive with thirty thousand leather samples of all types can be visited.

At the gates of Milan, in Parabiago, the Fratelli Rossetti shoe factory, which turns 70 in 2023, shows the public how the iconic Brera moccasin was born, the model with tassels that made the brand famous internationally.

In Tuscany, you can discover the world of the “shoemaker of the stars” at the Salvatore Ferragamo museum in Florence, from shoes to the famous silk scarves with decorative subjects of flowers and exotic animals that form a patchwork. Another gem is the Scuola del Cuoio (Leather School), which can be accessed directly from the church in Piazza Santa Croce to discover the scent of leather and its processes. In Stefano Bemer’s workshop in Florence, men’s shoes are made to measure and the models are still hand-sewn. In the Marche, you can get a taste of men’s shoes from Colletti in Montegranaro. Campania also boasts a long tradition in the production of footwear and, in Casandrino (NA), the Paolo Scafora shoe factory produces shoes with a high manual component.

Paolo Scafora

In Veneto, the Shoe Museum of Villa Foscarini Rossi in Stra, the heart of the Veneto district of luxury footwear, is worth a visit, and also represents an opportunity to visit the seventeenth-century architectural complex overlooking the banks of the Brenta.

In the far north of Italy, in Gonars (UD), you can appreciate the ancient processing of furlane (slipper-shoes) at Lis Furlanis, a shed full of coloured fabrics, bicycle tyres, and jute bags; the ingredients to compose this type of footwear originating from Friuli Venezia Giulia.