This shoe factory was opened in the arcade of the Accademia, a building designed by Carlo Barabino in the 1820s, together with the Carlo Felice theatre, as part of the initial redevelopment of the square following the demolition of the San Domenico church and monastery. With the help of his father Luigi, Martino Stagno, the fourth generation of shoemakers, carries on this family business whose hallmarks have always been class, elegance and quality as well as fashion consciousness. Small, elegant and refined, this shop is a little gem of Art Nouveau: the rounded windows beckoning customers are decorated with the same “ribbon” motifs found inside with festoons and garlands tied with ribbons in neoclassical style. In the refined interior there are gilded window and mirror frames, a small table used as a counter, armchairs, stools, a “dressing table chair” and bronze wall lamps. The ceiling is made of wood with a rosette decorated with mint gold. Upstairs the area now used as a stockroom was once the workshop where the founder designed and made footwear. There’s still an antique telephone switchboard that was used for connecting calls with the other two shops that the Stagnos owned in Piazza Sarzano, which were subsequently destroyed during the air raids in World War II.
Genova, Largo Pertini, 5
Tel: +39 010 565743
By the time the shop opened, the former Piazza San Domenico, renamed Piazza De Ferrari, had become Genoa’s new main square and was already assuming its contemporary appearance with the Palazzo della Borsa (stock exchange) and the Palazzo della Navigazione Generale Italiana, now the headquarters of the Ligurian Regional Administration.