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Everyone knows how fundamental it is in Venice to have a good pair of comfortable shoes on your feet. So why not get to know a very unique little craft store not far from Rialto in Campiello del Sol. It doesn't matter that this place was once called Campiello delle Scoazze, or rather Garbage Square: today it is a splendid place thanks to the energy, tenacity and skill with which Austrian Gabriele Gmeiner makes strictly handmade shoes. Raised in Bregenz near Lake Constance, she trained in London at Cordweiners College, then in Paris at the Abbè Gregoire school, but she couldn't help but arrive in Veneto, the home of custom-made shoes. Having completed her apprenticeship with Rolando Segalin, she left for Japan but then returned to Venice, opening her workshop here where she is able to make a limited number of pairs of shoes per year. They are requested by a niche clientele, mainly foreigners; people with impossible feet, artists, politicians or just enthusiasts willing to spend from 2800 euros upwards for a calfskin leather modeled specifically to their feet, including the wooden last and the test shoes. In fact, it is not so much the price as the waiting time for the customer: eight months for the control shoe (which has to be worn for at least two weeks, better for two months) and four for the definitive one for a total of about one year. 80 hours of work per shoe, inevitable since everything is done by hand, from the choice of the leather (often coming from the historical Presot tannery in Pordenone) to the creation of the upper end, from the sole to the finishing touches. Gabriele Gmeiner dreams of growing the business, increasing production because, despite the crisis, there is no shortage of work, but it is not easy to find young people willing to work with only the wisdom of their hands. For those who are passionate about shoes and have always wanted to wear a made-to-measure pair, this is the place to make that dream come true.
San Polo 951, campiello del Sol