Bottega della Pelle was founded in Florence by the Gori family, leather artisans since the 1930s. It all started when Marcello Gori, founder of the Bottega, and Father Bernardino Farnetani, a friar of the Santa Croce Church, decided to give orphans of the war a means to learn a practical trade with which to earn a living.
This was the opening of the Bottega della Pelle in the monastery of Santa Croce. This brilliant idea fostered a place for children to gain skills that would take them off the streets and give them a place in the community, not to mention giving them a place within a centuries old tradition.
In May of 1952, Bottega della Pelle, due to the growing demand of fine quality hand-crafted products, opened its doors to clients inside the laboratories of the school in Santa Croce. The fondest costumers of Bottega della Pelle were from United States. Many visitors from the entertainment world own Bottega della Pelle products and have visited the artisan workshops. Among them, Cary Grant, Paul Newman, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Steven Spielberg, Zubin Mehta, Jack Nicklaus, Linda Carter, Robert Downey Junior, Will Smith, Patrick Neil Harris and Noah Wyle to name just a few.
The unique location, the quality of its products and the commitment to tradition has made Bottega della Pelle famous. Today, the vision of the school lives on through Marcello Gori’s family. His three daughters, Laura, Francesca, and Barbara, and grandchildren Tommaso, Filippo and Beatrice manage Bottega della Pelle. The Gori family continues to be committed to the great tradition of quality products and personal customer service. Bottega della Pelle remains the largest genuine laboratory in the city where clients can witness the artisans create the leather goods in the midst of centuries-old history.
Francesca Gori has started a new line of hand-stitched one-of-a-kind handbags. Her collection is made from soft deerskin or exotic pelts such as crocodile, ostrich and python. Francesca Gori Designer bags often feature bright color combinations and have decorative closures with bobbles of silver, gold, semi-precious stones and other rare materials such as fossils, quartz, amber all from antique jewelry and the like found during Francesca’s travels throughout fairs, markets and shows throughout Europe.
The friars of the Monastery of Santa Croce and the Gori family share a common vision for Bottega della Pelle. Their wish is to revive the minor arts, drawing from the experience of the master craftsmen, and to uphold the great traditions of Florentine quality craftsmanship. Bottega della Pelle is proud to provide a unique learning experience for visitors and students from all over the world.