The Background of Furlane Shoes

The Background of Furlane Shoes

 Friulane in Teal

Italian Furlane shoes, also known as Venetian slippers are mid-heel slippers, with an upper, or top part that is slightly open to the kick of the foot and the ankle bone.

In the post-war era when the economic crisis left the Red Cross gathering materials for the people of Friuli, Furlane shoes were started with some ladies from Friuli, who, using fabric, layered the cloth from old clothes, sheets, and pieces of tablecloth. Each swatch was bound and cut with a sharp knife to form a comfortable sole. Over time the cloth sole was replaced with the runner from bicycle tires, which are sometimes still used today.

The "scarpetz", what the shoes were called in Friuli, were an immediate hit with the Gondoliers, because the rubber soles allowed not only a firm grip while rowing, but also offered good protection for the precious black varnish on the Gondolas. This is how Furlane shoes were also known as Gondolier shoes.

As Italy recovered from the war, the women could be seen with wicker baskets full of slippers, the slippers also met with the restrictions of post-war rationing.

After the war, The Red Cross nurses were active in gathering donations of velvet and other fabric as well as old rubber from private donors and small businesses. Then they would take these donations to hospitals such as The Military Hospital, Morelli Di Popolo, and the Regina De Margherita, to offer practical jobs to the unoccupied. The Furlane or Friulana slippers were sold on the Rialto Bridge, to the Gondoliers.

Seams on the exterior serve as a testament to the craftsmanship behind these historical shoes. As more fabrics were available, such as velvet, the upper classes began celebrating the shoe, with the pointed Venetian toe. Aside from this physical deviation, the variation of the Furlane shoes mostly were in the fabric used - where winter ones were more insulated than the summer ones. There were version for festive events vs. daily wear ones. The soles also could get more insulation by overlapping layers of cloth. The stitching also got some special treatment with either contrasting string and have distinct patterns or embroidery. Overall Furlane shoes covered the full range of the Friuli population and beyond, with Venice being a big destination for them to be sold.

When it came to the styles, much depended on the available fabric or patterns and for what type of function they would serve. Given that most were originally built with fabric provided to the women that made these wonderful shoes, today, styles are in keeping with the times. Colors, patterns and stitching all take on designs for the right occasion, giving the Furlane shoes great diversity in matching your clothes and fashion.

The Furlane, or Friulana shoes, are perfect for men, women, and children. They built to be comfortable for wear, versatile, colorful, and timeless. The perfect accessory for everyday life, from dawn to dusk.

See our collections at, discover the wonders of Friulane shoes and start shopping. 


Embroidered Lace Friulana


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