A Florentine gem

Fratelli Piccini on the Ponte Vecchio

TF x
November 6, 2014

As you stroll over the Ponte Vecchio during your passeggiata, stop and explore a jewel in the crown of Florentine craftsmanship. To the left of the archway overlooking the city’s historic canoe club and with views towards Ponte alle Grazie, Fratelli Piccini is a haven of tranquillity and hospitality away from the crowds outside on Florence’s famous bridge.

“Imagine a woman, her face, her hands, her body, her walk. Now, imagine a jewel. Unite them for elegance, personality, beauty… This is my heritage, my vision of femininity.”

—Armando Piccini

 

 

Part of the handicraft takes place on the premises, in an atelier tucked right beneath the Vasari Corridor. A wonderland filled with exquisite designs by Armando Piccini, the uncle of current CEO Elisa Tozzi Piccini—Armando Piccini was an art professor of the Istituto d’Arte near Porta Romana; he won the International Diamond Award twice as well as the Venice Biennale of 1936 for his emerald etchings (his other designs are on display in the Silver Museum at the Pitti Palace). The age-old tools of the trade and moulds sit comfortably beside cutting-edge contemporary equipment. Established in 1903, Fratelli Piccini vaunts 111 years of history, but its approach does not rely on the past; this is a firm whose heritage-first approach is handcrafting the future.

 

Elisa explains the inspiration behind the Fratelli Piccini Moments wedding rings collection: ‘The idea is based on a romantic walk in Florence. People fall in love, here in Florence perhaps, and when they marry, their rings to one another convey the places and moments that are magical for them.’

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Take the Ponte Vecchio his-and-her wedding rings, for instance, which depict the medieval bridge and its famous reflection in the waters of the Arno. For the Venere ring, a colourful enamel masterpiece that embodies feminine beauty, the first step in the creation process was to imagine the hypothetical lovers pausing to observe Botticelli’s masterwork, then to break down these details and design the ring on paper—a work of art in itself—before crafting the ring. Gold is smelted, a model is made, enamelling takes place, then hand engraving is added. Elisa: ‘The Moments collection brings together a range of age-old ring-making techniques that are typically Florentine and this is the reason why the collection has been successful not only for weddings but also as a memory of Florence itself.’

 

These traditional techniques are what make Fratelli Piccini unique on the Ponte Vecchio: care and attention is paid to every single piece of jewellery made in the historic atelier. Coloured stones are a singular speciality, a passion shared by the Piccini family that has led to knowledge and expertise in the field as well as to the best gemstone dealers in the world.

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The same care and attention is also devoted to the firm’s customers. Here, designers are accustomed to crafting bespoke pieces, using a variety of semi-precious and precious stones, depending on your wishes and wallet. It’s not all about traditional expensive ‘haute’ jewellery—with the new millennium and the handing down of the family firm to the fourth generation, Fratelli Piccini realized the need to offer more contemporary designs and ranges made from contemporary, innovative materials.

 

To top it off, Fratelli Piccini can gift you a romantic experience like no other: you can present your loved one with a handcrafted present on a terrace of dreams perched above the Ponte Vecchio and nestled below the Vasari Corridor, a private space for two over dinner or an aperitif at sunset. This is one of those Florentine places that dreams are made of and the possibilities are endless.

 

Fratelli Piccini

Ponte Vecchio, 21–23R

Florence

www.fratellipiccini.com

 

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