Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

There is a shop on Via IV Novembre in San Casciano that greets us with colors and magic, like a pinwheel blown by the wind.

Annalisa Lazzeri greets us with a smile, bathed by the unmistakable scent of her store. “I get lost among all of these things!”, exclaims a vacationing customer. Annalisa answers, “It always happens to me!”.

At “Soffietto” we get lost through the eyes of a child among the thousands of objects, although we grew up in the shop. Finally, we arrive at the hats and choose the one we like best.

“Soffietto” opened on December 20, 1980: ”My sister, Primetta, wanted to leave her souvenir and straw stand in San Lorenzo. Back then everyone sold these types of things in the market. Now there are more foreigners who mostly sell leather goods and hats. We thought about opening a shop, and I created the advertisement on the San Casciano Cycling T-shirts with my husband, Roberto Caneschi, who has always had a passion for bicycles”.


“This place”, explains Annalisa, “was named many things, even “Soffitta”. The name brings to mind, ‘soffietto al cuore’ (heart murmur)! But the name comes from the fan for a fireplace, because we sold many straw objects”.

The design for this out-of-style utensil are on their orange stickers that close gift packages, tied with raffia bows hand made by her mother Maria.

“In the beginning, the shop ended at the arc, after the entrance. Then the owner of the store, who lives upstairs, moved the garage. We took advantage of this occasion, knocked down the wall and changed everything. We were younger then,” she remembers, “and had much more spirit of initiative. The furniture is all from home. We bought the woods and created the shop by ourselves with the help of a carpenter friend”.

“We used to keep bags, baskets and gift ideas,” she also remembers,” like we do now. The number of hats grew afterwards because there was only one hat shop in town, Malandrini, in front of “Acquaiolo”. Everyone knew the owner who sold many beautiful hats”.


“The hat”, she continues, “is a particular item. Not everyone wore them before, and now it is a common accessory. There are types for every occasion. I have always been happy to work with the items we sell. And if you like what you sell you are happy to do it. We have always had friendly relationships with our customers, especially those from town (even if now we have more people from outside)”.

“Today – concludes Annalisa – who buys something, pays more attention. Our type of store sells all types of things at different prices. We like our clients to be satisfied, and I tell them not to buy unless they are sure; not to spend money just for the sake of it”.

Martina Mecacci