Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Press Checks #2: Florence, Italy

On the steps of the Duomo in Florence, Italy

In late September, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Italy for the first time and see Rome, Florence and Venice. For foodies like us, this was the trip of a lifetime. I can still vividly recount almost every hour of the week long journey and I'm currently working on a Blurb photo book to help capture the memory.

Between all three cities, Florence was my absolute favorite. From the Tuscan food and wine to the overall city vibe, I have never been happier from simply being somewhere.

While Florence is most commonly known for leather markets, great food and amazing renaissance art, a lesser known fact is Florence's association with printing and paper. Back in the 17th century, Florentines invented a marbleizing technique to create hand-decorated paper goods. This same technique is used today and the skilled craftsmanship used in this creation of highly customized paper products, makes Florence the stationary capital of the world.

Many specialty stores throughout the city specialize in these high-quality paper products. The hand-decorated paper isn't just made for common stationary items either as you can find an assortment of custom books, journals, photo albums, notepads, leather-bound diaries, calendars and other paper products.

To give you a printer's taste of Italy, I have listed below a few of the specialty paper stores found in Florence. I have left many off this list, including some of the most noteworthy (Johnsons & Relatives Stamperia Toscana), as I only included shops that I was able to find a website for. Ciao!

Giulio Giannini e Figlio
Il Torchio
Il Papiro