A very unusual and unique experience
Silver takes on new shapes and images in the hands of Pampaloni, the iconic Florentine artist-silversmiths. They not only produce art and craftsmanship but a real cultural, political and social concept that finds its raison d’etre in this precious metal.
The store in Florence is located in Via Porta Rossa 99 red. The street owes its name to the Renaissance guild to which silversmiths belonged. The store furnishings date back to 1870, when the building housed a library that became popular with the British Grand Tour.
The shop windows are true works of art, inspired by current affairs of social and political relevance, echoing changes in taste caused by deep societal changes through household items and jewelry.
Silver lends itself perfectly to creating both practical and symbolic objects. Pampaloni have a huge archive of shapes and models as well as exclusive technology that allows them to play with any organic form, producing both tiny and huge objects. This is how premium commemorative pieces for cultural achievements were conceived to celebrate athletes and diplomats, without forgetting religious objects and items of seduction.
Yet Pampaloni is not only a shop, it is also a restaurant. Just outside the walls of Florence stands the Fabbrica Pampaloni, a real factory that is still operational in spite of the economic crisis. Where the workers’ canteen used to be, a fancy restaurant has been arranged, a rather unusual after-work scene. The cafeteria tables are laid with cutlery and silverware that are a real pleasure to handle – and not only to look at. The furnishings in the restaurant showcase icons and symbols that have helped build the imagery which has inspired Pampaloni to create their opulent and unparalleled silverware.
The Fabbrica Pampaloni hosts art exhibitions and current events that involve the public in every part of the building. The old glass cases display pieces that have made the history of Pampaloni, not only the ones that have enjoyed commercial success, but also prototypes, models in wood and plaster, and the unlucky attempts the turned into failed innovations. Pictures of various processes – melting, laminating, chiseling and assembly – are projected through windows for visitors to watch.
The factory is the place to visit if you wish to learn not only about the manufacturing process, but also about the history of objects, their design and their author’s inspiration. It is the place where you can understand the deep and essential relationship between a manufacturer and his client, nurtured by their enjoyment of and passion for silverware.