Painters by the river and streets, incredible architecture, awesome Italian fare and colourful bright orange roofs, Florence is a place that will naturally immerse you into art and architecture. While visiting Italy last Autumn, I had the opportunity to check out one of the best-stocked art supplies stores in Firenze (also known as Florence) Italy, Zecchi Colori.
I was lucky to be able to be there 30mins before they close for the day. A step into Zecchi and I thought to myself, “it’s not that big a store after all!”.
Coming from Tokyo, Sekaido is the go-to place for art supplies and they boasts a building of more than 5 floors of stuff from your pencils to framing services for your artwork. And with that “size” in my head, I was pretty surprised that Zecchi is no bigger than your neighbourhood restaurant. Having that said, the store is brimming with materials.
First stop, straight to the Watercolour section. Zecchi might be small in shop size but they carry the most comprehensive Italian brands. From their house brand Zecchi, to MaimeriBlu, to Venezia brands of Watercolour pigments in tubes and pan cubes. You can also find Schmick and other foreign brands too.
I was invited to try Zecchi’s watercolour earlier this year in a launch event in Tokyo and I really liked their bright colours. Hence I was very excited to be physically in a Zecchi store, and getting the colours I’ve missed out on, and colours I would want to stock up was on my to-do list.
Moving on to the middle row is the paper blocks section. Stacks of sketchbooks, paper blocks that I’ve never seen, like the round block of cold pressed Italian brand Watercolour paper as seen in the photo above. Yes, I got a few blocks of them to try!
With paints and paper checked, I went back to the doorway to check out the brushes. It was pretty messy because everything of every size were simply stashed in the jars so you practically had to go look for a pin in a haystack if you want a particular size of brush (or maybe it’s the customers who messed it up because after all, the day’s ending).
Spotted a green bristled brush and I thought it was special so I got one of them to try.
They also sell inks, pigments, oil, acrylic, loose paper, aprons, easels and everything else you most probably need.
It’s one of the places I would recommend illustrators, artists and craft enthusiasts to visit while in Florence for its range of European pigments and brushes. A big shoutout to the professionalism and passion of the staff as they hinted me on what I could skip, and what I can choose to buy. Prices were as expected, so don’t expect a bargain or duty-free of some sort. But if you’re coming by Tokyo before Italy, Sekaido in Shinjuku is probably a better bet if you’re looking for variety.
For more information on Zecchi, you can find more information via their official website.