Changes at Manifattura Tabacchi: The Factory

Changes at Manifattura Tabacchi: The Factory

Expect exhibitions, festivals and vintage markets this spring and summer.

Thu 13 Apr 2023 11:05 AM

Manifattura Tabacchi expands its horizons with new spaces for restaurants, cafes, stores, offices, artisanal workshops, and even a rooftop garden. The old tobacco factory is already one of the most innovative spaces in Florence, having operated as a cultural hub for several years.

Officina Botanica at Manifattura Tabacchi. Ph. Alessandro Fibbi

Among some of the new innovations is the Manifattura Tabacchi Officina Botanica (Botanic Workshop), a public roof garden designed by landscape architect Antonio Perazzi. Bringing greenery to the city, this 560-square meter space is decorated with trees, shrubs and perennials, adding biodiversity as well as being a great place to catch some sun.

Exciting gastronomic pleasures are also at the forefront of this expansion. Beloved Bulli&Balene settles into a permanent location, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, while Japanese spot Hiroko Bento makes for an ideal quick lunch option. Other well-known Florentine spots such as Ditta Artigianale and Shake Café will settle into venues along with newcomer bakery Cuchiss Lab. For those looking for the freshest ingredients, Bottega Biologica opens its doors, sourcing everything from small local farms.

The possibilities are endless at The Factory. Along with small business apparel stores such as SUPERDUPER for handmade hats and LUNEDÌ for sustainable clothing and jewelry, visitors can change up their look more permanently with Noa Ink, a tattoo and piercing shop. For those looking for something more temporary but still wanting to spruce up their appearance, there’s the Blues Barber shop.

The space will also host a range of events from vintage markets to festivals, book presentations, and even skate lessons, as well as becoming a permanent home for innovative business offices such as LVMH Group, Doghead Animation and SDG Group.

Katja Novitskova, Pattern of Activation, 2015. Ph. Leonardo Morfini

Kicking off the artistic side of things, Manifattura Tabacchi hosts the photo sculptures of Katja Novitskova, an internationally renowned Estonian artist, whose free exhibition is being held in partnership with the Reaching for the Stars exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi and is on display until June 18. Expect animal images gathered from the internet that are reproduced in a large format on metal and cardboard panels. Among other artistic efforts is the newly converted B11 space, which has been transformed to house initiatives such as the Toast Project Space for contemporary artists.

Manifattura Tabacchi remains reserved exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists in an effort to embrace sustainable mobility. An 800-space parking lot is set to open up in the coming weeks.

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