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Introducing Our First Creative Italy School

The art of shoemaking in Italy originated with local artisans hundreds of years ago. As was the case with many artisans, those crafting shoes became experts in their field, handing down skills and techniques through the ages. In the late 18th century the industry of shoemaking and trading took off, but one thing sets the craft of Italian shoemaking apart from all others – Italian leather. Italians have been making leather goods for thousands of years, becoming experts in the use of this material in addition to other materials – which has proven especially useful in the making of footwear. The passion, knowledge, heritage and craftsmanship of Italian shoemakers is unique. Today Italian footwear is internationally renowned. We want to share this passion and knowledge with you, our like minded creative travellers.

Creative Italy are delighted to announce our new partnership with artisan master shoemaker Daniele Ortolani and the shoemaking school, ArteScarpe. If you’ve ever dreamt of creating your own unique footwear, sustainably and authentically, whilst guided by a passionate and talented artisan, Creative Italy know just the place!

Meet our shoemaker extraordinaire!

Daniele Ortolani is a talented young artisan, who whilst training in shoe modelling felt an instinctive curiosity to learn the art of shoemaking. While speaking to Creative Italy founders Federica and Laura, Daniele says ”It was natural, the passion for wanting to create unique shoes…unique models that nobody has.” You can find out more about Daniele by watching our interview here:

It’s clear that Daniele is passionate about the craft of shoemaking and emphasises the importance of learning first-hand the skills and techniques. Daniele prides himself in building good relationships with his budding shoemakers, and former students still get in touch long after their training has ended. In fact, Daniele shares our passion for building an international network of artisans, something we feel is important in preserving the heritage and traditions of centuries old craftsmanship.

Daniele understands the value in designing and making footwear which is bespoke, high quality, and of course comfortable ”giving people comfort is something that gives me satisfaction” says Daniele, ”if you are not in comfortable shoes you are not comfortable with yourself, they are the basis of well-being.”

The Course

The course takes place in the centre of Florence, the home city of our expert artisan Daniele Ortolani. Studying the art of shoemaking at the Conventino craft centre in the centre of Florence is something that will add to the experience of learning this centuries old tradition. Daniele talks of being ”a proud Florentine, being from a city which is home to many artists.” Learning this craft in the artisan’s studio surrounded by so much history will undoubtedly leave you feeling inspired. Step inside our artisan’s workshop and take a look at one of Daniele’s students at work here.

The programme:

  • Students have the option to take a 3, 6 or 9 month course.
  • Styles: Court, Francesina, Oxford, Derby, Mocassin or slipper, ankle/tubular boots, sandals.
  • All materials and tools included.
  • Learn about the materials, practical drawing, patterns, leather cutting, stitching, additions, upper assembly, shoe fitting and much more!

Jump in with both feet and book your place on our ArteScarpe shoemaking course today!

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