The Arno Rises

Collection of Fratelli Fanciullacci "Strawberry" Ceramics from Florence, Italy (LEO Design)

On this day in 1966, Florence's Arno River began to rise—and, by the next day, had surpassed its banks, flooding parts of the Renaissance city with as much as 22 feet of water.  It was the worst flood in over 500 years and countless priceless artworks, books and buildings were damaged or destroyed.  Among the lost treasures was the little ceramics workshop, Fratelli Fanciullacci, first established in the mid-Nineteenth Century.  The studio lost most of its equipment, molds, kilns and tools. It lost most of its stock—that which was in-production as well as that which was finished and awaiting shipment to the U.S. and the rest of Europe.  Most critically, the workshop lost its talented crew of artisans—who could not afford to be out-of-work for the months and months which were needed to clean-up and restart production.  In time, Fratelli Fanciullacci did re-open, but it had lost much of its zest and its position as a design leader. The company struggled for a few years before closing for good in 1988.

The pieces above, hand-crafted with the workshop's distinctive "Strawberry" decoration, were made (and shipped) in the 1960's—well before the disastrous flood.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about the piece front-and-center.


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (

Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts"

Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"