Touring Tuscany: Part V - Marilyn Monroe at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

Andrea , 19 Nov 2012

Andrea Brown of Team MissMalini recently spent a week touring Tuscany, Italy, sampling the region’s delicious wines and famous cuisine. Here’s the fifth installment of her travelogue series on Touring Tuscany!

Marilyn Monroe's sparkly red pumps
Red Swarovski shoes Ferragamo designed for Marilyn Monroe

Behind every successful woman is a fabulous pair of shoes. Behind Marilyn Monroe were over 60 pairs of Salvatore Ferragamo pumps. It is no wonder then that Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence decided to launch an exhibition in honor of the pop icon, 50 years after her death, who made the 4 inch heels famous.

Entrance
Entrance

Located in Palazzo Spini Feroni, the exhibition includes 30 pairs of shoes and over 50 outfits from the actress’s wardrobe along with film clips, photographs and even original documents. I was pleasantly surprised to find a photo of a completely unrecognizable, young Marilyn as a brunette as well as a photo of baby Marilyn with her mother. It was refreshing to see a side of the actress other than the bombshell blonde beauty we automatically think of when her name is mentioned.

Marilyn and Mother
Marilyn and Mother
Photograph by George Barris
Photograph by George Barris
Monroe's own Italian-style carved chair and Ferragamo pumps
Monroe's own Italian-style carved chair and Ferragamo pumps
Cheque signed by Marilyn Monroe
Cheque signed by Marilyn Monroe

The rooms of Museo Ferragamo are strategically set up to pay tribute to the different aspects of the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. One large room displays costumes from famous scenes in her most celebrated films including Some Like It Hot and The Seven-Year Itch, while another recreates the hotel room in which Marilyn Monroe passed away.

 Leotard worn by Marilyn in the film Bus Stop
Leotard worn by Marilyn in the film Bus Stop
Gold pumps from the film Bus Stop
Gold pumps from the film Bus Stop

Undoubtedly, the exhibition by Stefania Ricci and Sergio Risaliti was brilliant. Through strategic placement and various audio and visual cues, it took me on a journey to help me understand the countless facets of this Hollywood legend.

Also displayed in the museum are countless pairs of famous designs by Salvatore Ferragamo, the man who found his calling at the age of 9. I felt like I had died and gone to shoe heaven when I stumbled upon the wedge sandal made for Indira Devi, Maharani of Cooch Behar in 1938.  I must confess I became slightly enamored by the glamazon after reading  A PRINCESS REMEMBERS: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur.

Sandal made for the Maharani of Cooch Behar
Sandal made for the Maharani of Cooch Behar

I also found myself lusting after ankle boots and lace up booties from the 1930’s. They look mighty similar to a few pairs I have in my closet, but  of much better quality as they were designed and handmade by the shoemaker to the stars himself.

Lace up booties
Lace up booties
Ankle boots from 1938
Ankle boots from 1938

The Museo Salvatore Ferragamo has done a remarkable job showcasing the journey of Ferragamo from extremely humble beginnings to an iconic, international luxury brand and is a must visit for anyone passing through Florence!

Up next: Touring Tuscany: Part VI – Florence by Photos

See also:

Touring Tuscany: Part I – A Toast to Montepulciano!

Touring Tuscany: Part II – Castello di Gargonza 

Touring Tuscany: Part III – Fine Dining in Florence at Il Palagio

Touring Tuscany: Part IV – Hotel Lungarno

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