Ceridwyn writes: Florence is visual overload! I needed an antidote, and found it on the streets of Oltrano, on the ‘other side’ of the river.
The huge brick workrooms of the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, the ancient Florentine silk factory are just along from the best lunch we ate. Trattoria Sabatini , via Pisana 2/r , is a family run restaurant where the Buccioni family served us with pollo arrosto, patates arrosto, cavolo crude roast chicken, potatoes and coleslaw) and creamy stracchino cheese , and the usual glass of red wine, very cheaply . For once we were the only tourists in amongst local business people and artisans.
Back to the silk. Behind a wrought iron 18th century gate is a fabric lover‘s paradise- walls and walls of silk , damasks, brocades, linens and taffetas, in every shade, with braids, tassles and trims for every possible design scheme. Only an hour before, in the perfect Cappella Brancaccio we had seen two Florentine gentlemen in a 15th century painting wearing flowing garments of heavy velvet and silk, woven in this very factory.