Draghi also visited the factory and historical archive of Salvatore Ferragamo in Scandicci while in Florence.

He said: “Cultural activities, producers and businesses [in Florence] benefit not only from the city’s links with abroad, but also from its equally important connections with the local area. They are an expression of the desire to invest in social and technological capital, with a long-term perspective.

“I am referring, for example, to the leather district that stands out for its quality materials, thanks also to the nearby Santa Croce tanning district. This also benefits from highly skilled local craftsmanship, which draws from a centuries-old tradition, as well as being enriched by creativity and stylistic research, cultivated in the city’s academies and institutes in this field.

“These combined characteristics have allowed Florence’s leather and shoemaking district to quadruple its exports over the past 20 years. Following the slowdown caused by the pandemic, they have also now allowed it to embark on a new path towards strong growth.”