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Florence, Italy: VOLUME: the Bar With an Artisan's Soul

Updated on November 17, 2015

Film Noir Style Bar (Neri Playing Chess)

Also by this Author...

Aperitivo Snacks

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:

Hope to see you there (on a Blues Night). Thank you for reading!

C. De Melo
Author & Artist



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