10

regions, 10 crafts

7 July 2024
Written by Artzan. Italian Craftsmanship


Italy, a country renowned for its rich cultural heritage, is a treasure trove of diverse artisanal traditions. For travel lovers who like to explore the Italian territory, one of the possible activities could be to visit one of the thousands of crafts workshops that you can find in its different regions. Each region in Italy boasts unique crafts that reflect its history, environment, and the skills passed down through generations. We have asked Artzan, a start-up that seeks to promote Italian craftsmanship, to explore 10 Italian regions and unveil their distinctive artisanal techniques

1

South Tyrol’s Woodworking

The south Tyrolean area is known for its fine woodworking, particularly in furniture making. Artisans craft intricate inlaid wood designs, creating exquisite tables, cabinets, and other furniture pieces that are both functional and artistic. The wood carving techniques, once used to carve religious figures, is nowadays applied to modern and contemporary furniture and décor pieces. In Val Gardena you will be surprised by the great number of shops that sell these unique wood pieces.

Our favourite: Andreas Mayr Kondrak

Italian craftsmanship
Detail of a carpenter

2

Lombardy’s Silk Weaving

Como, in Lombardy, is synonymous with silk weaving. Since the 16th century, Como has been a leading center for silk production, thanks to its favorable climate for mulberry trees, essential for silkworms. The region produces luxurious silk fabrics and scarves, known for their quality and elegance. In Como you can also visit the interesting Didactic Museum of Silk or buy a glamorous silk headscarf like an Italian diva.

Experience at: Museo Seta Como

3

Veneto’s Murano Glass

The island of Murano, near Venice, has been a glassmaking hub since the 13th century. Murano glass is famous for its vibrant colours and intricate designs. Techniques like “millefiori” (thousand flowers) and “filigree” are used to create stunning glassware, chandeliers, and jewelry. During your stay in Venice it is a must to visit the island of Murano and Burano to look at the work of some of the best glass craftsmen in the world.

Our favourite: Wave Murano Glass

Italian craftsmanship
Italian Murano Glass

4

Tuscany’s Terracotta

Tuscany, particularly the town of Impruneta, is celebrated for its terracotta pottery. This craft dates back to the Etruscan period and is renowned for its durability and distinctive reddish hue. Tuscan terracotta is used for making vases, statues, and tiles, which adorn many of the region’s historical buildings. In every villa, “agriturismo” or hotel in Tuscany you will find some “terracottas”. 

Our favourite: Terrecotte Lotti

Italian craftsmanship
Tuscan Pottery

5

Emilia-Romagna’s Ceramics

Faenza, in Emilia-Romagna, lends its name to the term “faience,” a type of tin-glazed pottery. Since the Renaissance, Faenza ceramics have been admired for their intricate designs and vivid colours. Artisans create beautiful plates, vases, and tiles that are both functional and decorative. Famous for their beautiful hues, these ceramics are inspired by the beauty of Emilian churches and cathedrals.

Our favourite: Imolarte

Courtesy Imolarte

6

Lazio’s Mosaics

Rome, in Lazio, has a rich tradition of mosaic art dating back to ancient times. Roman mosaics, created with small pieces of coloured glass, stone, or ceramic, decorate many historical sites and churches. Modern artisans continue this tradition, producing intricate mosaic artworks and furniture. It is not rare to jump into a mosaic laboratory during a walk in the city center.

Our favourite: Ginevra Malatesta Micromosaic Jewelry

Italian craftsmanship
Craftsman cutting smalt glass for mosaic

7

 Sardinia’s Textiles and Weaving

The island of Sardinia has a long tradition of textile weaving. Sardinian textiles are distinguished by their geometric patterns and bold colors, often used in rugs, tapestries, and traditional costumes. The craft is particularly vibrant in towns like Samugheo and Nule. During a stay in Sardinia, many tourists chose to buy one of the typical Sardinian white rugs for their homes.

Our favourite: Su Mamuri Tessile

Italian craftsmanship
Carpet loom in Sardinia

8

Campania’s Cammeo

The town of Torre del Greco, near Naples in Campania, is famous for its cammeo carving, a craft that dates back to the 18th century. Artisans carve intricate portraits and scenes into shells or gemstones, subsequently integrating these into rings, necklaces and earrings.

Our favourite: Il Piccolo Museo del Cammeo

Italian craftsmanship
Craftsmanship in Campania of the coral cameos

9

Puglia’s Basket weaving & CERAMICS

In the region of Puglia, particularly in towns like Ostuni and Lecce, basket weaving is a traditional craft. Using local materials such as olive twigs and rushes, artisans create sturdy and beautiful baskets. These baskets are often used in agriculture but also serve decorative purposes. In the beautiful villas of Italian Vips you will always find a traditional basket as a décor piece. But Puglia is also known for its traditional ceramics: during the 50th G7 summit, that was held from the 13th to the 15th of June at Borgo Egnazia in the city of Fasano, the partners of the world leaders made a special tour in a ceramic laboratory of Grottaglie. A beautiful experience to add to your trip on the Adriatic coast. 

Our favourites: Tre Gioie dalla Puglia & PUMO PUGLIESE

Italian craftsmanship
Basket Weaving Courtesy Tre Gioie dalla Puglia

10

Sicily’s Majolica

Sicilian majolica, a form of tin-glazed pottery, is renowned for its colourful, detailed designs. The town of Caltagirone is a major center for this craft. Majolica tiles, plates, and vases often feature intricate patterns and vibrant scenes from Sicilian life and mythology. Caltagirone is famous for its world-famous steps that were built in 1606 in order to connect the ancient part of Caltagirone to the new city built in the upper part. The staircase, over 130 meters (430 ft) long, is covered with Sicilian majolicas. 

Our favourite: Maremoro

Italian craftsmanship
Pottery artisan in Caltagirone


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