Accessories and Shoes

Cappello di paglia (Straw Hat) – For the lower classes to protect from the sun while working outside. (Pisetzky 1964)

Cercine  (Circlet?, headroll?) – Using fabric (stoffa) matching their gonnella, they wrapped it around their head and hair (hair taping?). For the more affluent, the cercine could be wrapped around quilted cotton (like the later “salsicciotti”) and decorated with pearls. (Pisetzky 1964)

Facoli (Veil to cover the top of the head, Milanese) – More rare than cercine. White, and usually made of linen but some of silk for “agiate”. Older women wore a “Cortina” (veil below, attached to the chin and covering the throat and part of the cheeks).

Snood/Scuffia – Popular in the Veneto as well as in Florence, this hair net was made most popular by Eleonora di Toledo in the cinquecento. It covered the back of the head and covered braided or loose hair. The snood was made from metal threads with various trims and was sometimes decorated with pearls.

Cintura – A decorated girdle/belt made of fabric, metal plates or chain, pearls/gems, or a combination thereof. Paintings depict women hanging small bags, fans, tassels, pomanders of perfume, and sables from their cintura. The painting “St. Eligius in His Shop from 1370 depicts a goldsmith’s cintura for sale.

Apron – From very fine ones and some very work-worn ones have been found from up to the cinquecento. Worn indoors by domestics and the noblewomen they served. Most were made of white linen, but could be made of other colors (green examples in the cinquecento). More information on working-class aprons and dresses can be found (

Jewelry – Sumptuary laws required many women in the quattrocento to pay to wear certain amounts and type of jewelry. The counter-reformation brought a new level of austerity to Italy, where vanity was considered sinful.

Saccoccia (pouch)- Found under the outermost garment of noble women via a slit in the skirt (often where the bodice laced)and over the dress or skirt of working class women. They came in many shapes (the rounded square was popular) and colors and were decorated with trim or embroidered. In Eleonora di Toledo’s funeral dress there was one that appears to have been sewn to the inside of the skirt.

Scarsella (tasseled purse) – hanging on the cintura to hold the necessary belongings. Made of cloth or leather (stoffa or pelle). (Pisetzky, 1964)

Ventaglio (fans) – three types of fans from the 12th to 16th Centuries; flag fan, the flabellum phlebotomy fan (12th C) and feather fan. Also, paintings of fans can be found at

Guanti (gloves) – Worn in Italy (per paintings that can be found on larsdatter pages) since the late 1400s. Made of leather or cloth and decorated according to it’s use. Gloves for hunting or falconry were less glam than gloves worn for warmth and fashion.


Pianelle – was a flat shoe with a wooden sole decorated/wrapped with fabric or leather (leggera). The pianelle could be plain or have a strap similar to those of modern “mary janes”. Eleonora di Toledo owned over 50 pair in red, green, brown, purple, grey, white, and (one pair) black (Landini 2004).

Chopine – Shoes worn in Tuscany and Venezia with distinguishing high platforms or wood or cork. Typically worn over pianelle, they were decorated and used to protect the fine slippers from mud and water.

Some documents in period reference calcetti, “small shoes” made of leather….which sound like slippers for the time. (Pisetzky, 1964)

Pianelle Ovvero OR Zoccoli – flat tile or clog worn under the shoes to avoid mud and water. Has a lather part to join the two together. (Pisetzky, 1964)


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