Tuscan trained Japanese Artisans


In a back street on the wrong side of the Arno River in Florence, I found Eriko Ohtani. She was bent over, handcrafting a pair of shoes for the Mannina family business.

She had been training under the master Cologero Mannina for past four years.

Sadly Cologero, 78, had passed away four days earlier.

Eriko said he had been making shoes for 70 of those years and felt he needed another 20 to master his craft. He was passionate and worked 365 days of the year.

On the other side of the river (Via Della Spada) you will find Il Micio ……. a place to splurge on men’s shoes made to measure by Fukaya Hidetaka, a Japaness born but Tuscan trained artisan whose bespoke balmorals and monk straps are handcrafted in a workshop across the street.




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