Florence, Italy: VOLUME: the Bar With an Artisan's Soul
Film Noir Style Bar (Neri Playing Chess)
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Walls of History
Historical Artisan Tools
Galetto (Salty Crepe)
This Place is Cool...
After writing the article about Chiaroscuro, I received a kind thank you email from Massimo (the owner). He suggested that I check out his new bar VOLUME in Santo Spirito and if I liked it, I could write about it, too. He told me to see a man named "Neri" (Black) and so I was off on another food mission.
As soon as I walked in, I immediately thought, this place is cool . And when I say "cool" I don't mean the toneless teenager cool...I mean the jazzy, artsy, film noire soul-full kind of cool . Even the blues song pouring out of the speakers was cool. There was just something about the place that drew me in immediately. I was curious to meet the man who went by the name of Black (Neri) and when I did meet him, he was wearing a black vest, white hat and (you guessed it) quite a bit of "coolness" if that can be an adjective. He was seated comfortably in a chair with an air of not really caring who I was or why he was being interviewed, but he submitted to it nonetheless and I gleaned some very interesting facts about this place.
Neri informed me that the bar was once a late 19th - early 20th c bottega known as Bottega Bini, and then he pointed out the old artisan tools displayed on the wall. Apparently, it had remained a bottega until 2006 and then closed. The empty space was not occupied until 2010 when Neri and Massimo decided to open VOLUME.
As I looked around the room I saw several charming wooden sculptures and discovered that the bottega once belonged to a wood sculptor! In the back of the room was a big machine with what looked like a wheel on top. Neri explained that it was a motorized lumber saw from the 1950s. We chatted for a while and I learned that in addition to cocktails and coffee, VOLUME is open for lunch and dinner, offering a variety of salads, homemade gelato and granita, crepes and galettos (a salted crepe made with a certain kind of flour).
Open 7 days a week and Aperitivo is from 18:30 - 22:00.
Live music is also a regular feature with musicians performing 4-5 times per week (Blues Night is every Thursday beginning at about 22:30).
VOLUME also hosts exhibitions featuring unique works by local artisans.
When we were done speaking, an attractive woman walked into the bar and ordered a drink. Neri went to get a chess set, sat down across from her and engaged her in a game. Very smooth...
For more info, visit: www.volume.fi.it
Hope to see you there (on a Blues Night). Thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist
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